11 May 2005

PNG governor wants court to rule on lack of deputy prime minister

3:53 pm on 11 May 2005

A Papua New Guinea parliamentarian who has tired of the delay in appointing the nation's Deputy Prime Minister has decided to take the matter to the National Court.

The Morobe Governor, Luther Wenge, who is a former acting judge, wants the National Court to order PNG's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, to expedite his choice of a new deputy.

The government has been without a deputy prime minister since Moses Maladina was sacked 12 months ago.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Peter Niesi, says many political observers feel Sir Michael has been dangling the vacant position as a carrot to keep his government numbers intact.

The prime minister is in New York for a week, leaving the Prime Ministerial Office in the hands of the foreign minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu.