5 Jun 2013

PNG police minister loses parliamentary seat

7:08 am on 5 June 2013

Papua New Guinea's police minister has been ousted from parliament following a successful court challenge to his election at the 2012 poll.

Nixon Duban's election to the seat of Madang, on PNG's east coast, was declared null and void by Justice Les Gavara-Nanu amid allegations of fraud.

Justice Nanu has ordered a by-election, which is expected to cost the public purse as much as 5 million kina.

Bryan Krammer, the election rival who brought the petition against Mr Duban, is reported to want a recount and not an election.

The Prime Minister Peter O'Neill automatically assumes the police minister portfolio in an acting capacity.

Justice Gavara-Nanu ruled that a cheque for $295,000 kina issued by Mr Duban last year to a provincial hospital, coupled with a speech he gave in which he referred to his previous job as a prime ministerial adviser, amounted to bribery and undue influence during the election.