27 May 2004

PNG Parliament votes for a new Governor-General

8:24 pm on 27 May 2004

Papua New Guinea Parliamentarians have nominated Sir Paulias Matane, a former secretary of Foreign Affairs, as Governor General.

It is the third attempt to fill the post which has been vacant for six months.

The two earlier elections of Sir Albert Kipalan and Sir Pato Kakaraya were overturned by the Supreme Court.

Sir Paulias was chosen after an exhaustive four secret ballots.

Our correspondent Peter Niesi says the first eliminated today was the only woman candidate, Nahau Rooney, followed by Sir Joseph Nombri, then Sir Albert Kipalan.

"That that left the the race open to Sir Pato Kakaraya, who actually has a case in court over his rejection as Governor-General Elect in the second election, and Sir Paulias Matane. Out of the 96 MPs who consistently voted Sir Paulias Matane polled 50 of those votes to become PNG's nominee while Sir Pato Kakaraya could only manage 46 votes."

Meanwhile there was no attempt today to hold a vote of no confidence but Peter Niesi says, given the fluidity between parties, it remains a possibility when Parliament resumes tomorrow.