12 May 2004

Further delays to selection of Papua New Guinea's next Governor General

9:22 am on 12 May 2004

The Papua New Guinea Parliament's attempt to select a new Governor General has been delayed further.

Its emergency session resumed yesterday but the acting Speaker Jeffery Nape delayed the opening of nominations until tomorrow (Thurs) because of the legal action resulting from the rejection of all four previous nominations.

Our correspondent Peter Niesi says the feature of yesterday' session was the rejection of Markham MP, Andrew Baing, as Opposition Leader despite his election to the post by his caucus last week.

He says the incumbent, Sir Mekere Morauta, who last week revealed his desire to take his Party into the Government, was confirmed as Opposition leader by Mr Nape.

"After Sir Mekere secured the opposition leadership, he then rose up in parliament and indicated that he was now moving the PNG Party to the government and it was basically dependent on the prime minister's announcement of acceptance and of giving them the ministries they had requested."