Kurap’s appointment illegal


THE National Court ruled on Friday that PNG Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato’s decision to appoint Jacob Kurap as the Southern Highlands provincial election manager was illegal.
Justice Collin Makail ruled that Gamato must reinstate the former election manager David Wakias, to his former position.
Makail ruled that Gamato had listed to acting Southern Highlands provincial manager Joe Kaiyo to have Kurap replace Wakia without consulting the secretary of the Department of Personnel Management.
However, Gamato told The National that he would appeal the National Court’s decision.
Justice Makail made the ruling at the Waigani National Court in Port Moresby following an appeal by Wakias for a judicial review of Gamato’s decision to replace him with Kurap on Oct 4, 2016.
“Kurap was appointed without applying for the position and this is regardless of an earlier application which was unsuccessful.
“Furthermore, it may be that his appointment was only to act in the position pending appointment of a permanent officer but as it has been revealed that the circumstances did not justify it.
Another matter was that, there is no evidence of consultation with the secretary of the Department of Personnel Management before the appointment was made,” the judge said.
“Kurap was one of the unsuccessful applicants for the position of election manager in 2014 while working for Telikom PNG.
“He then moved to Southern Highlands Provincial Administration as its legal officer when he was handed the job after Wakia’s appointment was revoked.”
Justice Makail said that it has become apparent later that Kaiyo had written twice to Gamato requesting him to remove Wakias.
“The first time was on March 3, 2016 and the second on June 20, 2016.”

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