28 May 2004

PNG Government elects Jeffrey Nape Speaker

2:46 pm on 28 May 2004

The Papua New Guinea Coalition Government has today used its superior numbers to remove Bill Skate as Speaker and replace him with the acting Speaker Jeffrey Nape.

Mr Skate had taken leave from Parliament to avoid having to fulfil the acting Governor General's role as he had been ordered earlier this week by the Ombudsman.

Mr Nape's election also means he now becomes acting Governor General.

Parliament has been adjourned until this afternoon to allow for Mr Nape to be sworn in but our correspondent Peter Niesi says there is confusion over who will conduct the ceremony.

"Technically Bill Skate was the acting GG but because he was on leave of absence the Chief Justice was supposed to be, but late yesterday we found out that the GG's post was still vacant, so it is quite that the Chief Justice will step in and swear in Mr Nape, ...now what remains to be seen is whether Sir Mari Kapi would be keen on swearing in a new Speaker given some of the problems that came with the way he was elected"