8 Jun 2012

PNG's Namah labels Australian diplomat's trip suspicious

7:54 am on 8 June 2012

Papua New Guinea's deputy prime minister, Belden Namah, has taken a swipe at the Australian High Commissioner, Ian Kemish's plans to visit his Vanimo electorate next week.

The Post Courier reports that Mr Namah was offended that Mr Kemish had not informed him of the trip through the usual diplomatic channels - rather an official sent him a text.

Mr Namah calls the trip highly suspicious, asking why he is going to the electorate less than three weeks before polling?

The paper reports the Australian High Commission saying the High Commissioner conducts a busy schedule of travel across Papua New Guinea.

It says Mr Kemish aimed to review the support being provided by the Australian Government for the election process, to ensure it is well targeted.

And it says the visit to Vanimo was pre-arranged formally, like all High Commission travel, through the Provincial Administration.