NEW PNG PARLIAMENT MUST MEET BEFORE AUGUST 5

admin's picture

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 10, 2002 – The National)---Parliament must meet on or before August 5 to keep within constitutional requirements of when the House must sit after the previous general election.

Gunfights, killings and all sorts of problems have hampered the general elections, including funding problems resulting in delays to polling, counting and declaration of results. Given the magnitude of the problems, Electoral Commissioner Reuben Kaiulo has approached the Governor General and sought an extension of time for the return of writs to August 5 instead of July 15.

Mr. Kaiulo yesterday met with Chief Secretary Robert Igara, Chief Ombudsman Ila Geno, Registrar of Political Parties Paul Bengo and Clerk of Parliament Ano Pala to discuss the new dates.

Elections have ended in all provinces except the Middle Fly area of Western province, where polling is still continuing after a late start on Monday.

Mr. Kaiulo said the new finishing date does not affect the constitutional program for the new Parliament to start because it still allows Parliament to meet before the Constitutional time limit runs out.

Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta will announce the exact date for this first meeting of the new Parliament, he said.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA ELECTION RAMPAGE CLOSES MOUNT HAGEN TO FLIGHTS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 9, 2002 - The National/PNG Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Flights into the Papua New Guinea Highlands center of Mount Hagen were cancelled and business houses in the city shut down after more elections violence erupted.

It followed the declaration of the winner for the Hagen Open seat, with sitting MP Paul Pora losing to lawyer William Duma.

Houses were burned, a vehicle set afire, the Air Niugini terminal building walls and glass windows smashed, vehicles on the Highlands Highway stoned and shops looted.

Police fired warning shots and moved into the trouble spots to try to take control of the situation. But tension was still high yesterday with government officers and business workers electing to stay at home.

The main streets of the city were empty, giving it the look of a ghost town.

Mr. Pora addressed his Yamka people at Tega yesterday morning and called for calm and normalcy to be restored.

Mr. Pora said he would dispute the election result, but he would do it in a court of law and he did not want his people to take the law into their own hands.

He said people must allow traffic to flow freely along the highway, and air services to resume at Kagamuga airport.

He said the election was flawed in many ways, and the Electoral Commission and the police hierarchy should accept the blame.

He said he did not understand why armed police entered the counting room and forced officials to count votes on Sunday afternoon when the returning officer had made a decision to suspend counting until Monday.

Almost 3,000 candidates representing more than 40 parties are competing for 109 parliamentary seats across Papua New Guinea. The election has now gone into a fourth week because of security and financial worries.

In continuing counting:

* The long and illustrious parliamentary career of Sir Pita Lus came to an end. The people of Maprik, whom Sir Pita had served since 1964, finally decided to hand over their mandate to a new leader, civil engineer Gabriel Kapris.

* National Parliament Speaker Bernard Narokobi crashed to defeat in the Wewak seat he had held for the past 15 years.

* Sir Michael Somare -- the man renowned as "Father of PNG’s Independence" -- continued a close "neck and neck" tussle with vanilla farmer Allan Bird.

* Former daily newspaper editor Frank Senge Kolma, standing as an independent, continued to lead as counting continued in the Jimi Open seat in the Western Highlands.

* Prominent businessman and tourism leader Sir Peter Barter, also an independent, continued to lead in the Madang Provincial seat.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment