17 Aug 2009

PNG's Polye loses Enga seat in election challenge

12:58 pm on 17 August 2009

A senior government minister in Papua New Guinea has been ousted as a member of parliament following one of the country's longest running election court petitions, brought on by his opponent.

Don Polye, who is the Transport Minister and member for Kandep in Enga Province, has been removed from his seat after his 2007 election win was found null and void by the national court.

According to the Post Courier newspaper, Mr Polye's opponent Alfred Manase took him to court on 35 grounds of impropriety.

Last week, Judge Greg Lay ruled on 12 grounds that Mr Polye was not duly elected due to errors and omissions by electoral officers and supporters during polling.

Judge Lay added that one issue with the election win was Mr Polye received 100 per cent of the vote and applying common sense, logic and in his almost 65 years of life experience, such an event does not happen.

Outside the court, Mr Polye remained confident he would win a by-election or appeal.