11 Apr 2007

PNG Southern Highlands province Governor to implement court ruling over administrator

8:35 pm on 11 April 2007

The governor of Southern Highlands in Papua New Guinea says a National Court ruling over the appointment of the provincial administrator must be implemented.

Hami Yawari has accused the National Executive Council of breaching public service rules by sending William Powi back to the province as administrator, hours after the National Court upheld his termination.

The National Court confirmed the revocation of Powi's appointment last September during the State of Emergency in the province.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the State of Emergency and the subsequent suspension of the provincial government were unconstitutional and invalid.

Governor Yawari says therefore Mr Powi should voluntarily leave the office of administrator to make way for Alphonse Hayabe whose appointment was upheld by the court.

"I had to implement the national court decision because the law is above us. And that's why I am here in Mendi, implementing the national court order by saying that Mr Hayabe can resume duty. Otherwise, if I don't, I can be facing contempt (of court charges)... So my government, and me as Governor, will make sure that we implement this court order."