31 May 2005

PNG minister says Morobe secession threat is hypocritical

3:13 pm on 31 May 2005

Papua New Guinea's transport and civil aviation minister, Don Polye, has criticised a threat by the governor of Morobe to seek independence for his province over the so-called Enhanced Cooperation Programme.

Luther Wenge made the threat if the government agrees to re-instate the programme on the same terms after the supreme court had ruled that it was unconstitutional.

The ruling has prompted Australian police to leave the country and New Zealand police advisors to withdraw from Bougainville.

Mr Polye has told the newspaper, The National, that Governor Wenge is hypocritical to claim that he is the defender of the constitution while threatening to go against the very law and break away from PNG.

The minister has also questioned if the funds used in the court battles were budgeted for by the Morobe provincial government.