7 May 2008

Bougainville president Kabui under pressure over Invincible contribution

1:31 pm on 7 May 2008

The president of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, Joseph Kabui, is facing mounting pressure to resign after admitting taking money from a Canadian company.

The former secessionist leader has admitted he and two other cabinet ministers of the Autonomous Bougainville Government accepted 7,000 US dollars each from Invincible Resources during the ABG elections in 2005.

Bougainville landowners are calling for Mr Kabui's sacking, claiming he has acted contrary to the interests of Bougainville's people.

Mr Kabui says while he acceped the money to help his Bougainville People's Congress party, it was declared to the Ombudsman Commission.

Last month Invincible was given a 70 per cent stake in Bougainville's future resource developments in a seven million US dollar deal.

The allegations against Mr Kabui and the two other ministers by the Bougainville Business Association executive Thomas Rabanz were published by PNG's National newspaper.

In PNG's Post Courier newspaper, Mr Kabui has called on Bougainvilleans to stay cool, saying the attacks are ill-informed and blackmail.