24 Dec 2010

PNG Supreme Court rejects challenge, confirms Parliament must sit within 4 weeks

4:46 pm on 24 December 2010

It's been confirmed the Papua New Guinea Parliament must meet within four weeks to elect a new governor general after a legal bid by the acting speaker, Francis Marus, failed.

The Supreme Court had earlier ordered Parliament to meet by the 20th of January next month after it declared the election of Sir Paulias Matane as governor general unconstitutional and invalid.

The government contested this ruling but the Post Courier newspaper reports that a full bench of the Court on Thursday told Mr Marus his application was incompetent, unmeritorious and an abuse of process.

Our correspondent, Jonathan Tannos, says one likely candidate for the post of governor general may again be Sir Paulias, who's been asked by the government to stand once more.

"There's a former member of Parliament, the first to be willing to be nominated, Sir Matiabe Yuwi from the Southern Highlands, and there may be one or two other candidates from the southern region who - it depends on the political groupings - who may want to push in their own candidates for the position."