17 Jun 2005

Kabui ally elected speaker in Bougainville - new government elects woman MP as deputy speaker

6:30 pm on 17 June 2005

The Speaker in the assembly of the Autonomous Bougainville Government is Nick Peniai, who is the general secretary of President Joseph Kabui's People's Congress Party.

Mr Peniai, an unelected member of Assembly, defeated a former MP in the national government, Michael Ogio.

Mr Peniai, who had been a member of the resistance during the civil war in the Papua New Guinea province, was closely involved in securing Mr Kabui's resounding election win.

It is understood that Mr Kabui had offered the Speaker's position to former Governor, John Momis, but he turned the postion down.

Mr Momis has criticised the election as fraudulent and has threatened to take legal action to overturn the result.

The Deputy Speaker is Francisca Semoso, who won the North Bougainville Women's seat in the elections.

Ms Semoso is a former radio broadcaster and actor.