PNG COURT NULLIFIES THIRD CABINET MINISTER

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Mar. 18) - The Papua New Guinea Government has lost its third Cabinet Minister in as many weeks with the Communication and Information Minister, Ben Semri, losing his parliamentary seat after a ruling by the Court of Disputed Returns.

The court has declared the petitioner and former MP Tommy Tomscoll the duly elected MP.

The court has also ordered that Mr Tomscoll’s legal fees be paid in equal portions by Semri and the Electoral Commission.

Two weeks ago the Public Service Minister, Dr Puka Temu, lost his seat after another Court of Disputed Returns ruling, while the Tourism Minister, Alois Kingsley, who is facing firearms charges, was suspended last week by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

March 19, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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