PNG Supreme Court dismisses challenge to PM's election

6:35 pm on 27 November 2020

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has dismissed a legal challenge over the election of James Marape as prime minister last year.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape (centre) June 2020.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape (centre). Photo: PNG PM Media

The challenge by Opposition Leader, Belden Namah, related to alleged parliamentary irregularities in the parliamentary election 18 months ago.

During the May 2019 session, after resigning as prime minister, Peter O'Neill was re-nominated among the candidates for the vote in parliament.

However shortly before the vote he withdrew his candidature, and James Marape was elected as prime minister.

Later, the opposition leader at the time, Patrick Pruaitch, sought the Court's ruling on whether O'Neill's withdrawal was constitutional.

Namah subsequently took over as opposition leader and pursued the same case.

A five-man Supreme Court bench this morning ruled against the challenge, upholding Marape's position as prime minister.

The five judges were unanimous in dismissing the challenge.