The National- Monday, January 10, 2011
By JULIA DAIA BORE
JUSTICE Minister and Attorney-General Sir Arnold Amet has, on the eve of the parliament’s choosing of the country’s new vice regal, described certain individuals’ bold announcements of themselves as candidates for the governor-general post as disgracefully “demeaning, unethical, and fundamentally wrong”.
He said such acts of self-pride were not in the best interest of the people and emphasised that these actions should automatically disqualify them as GG candidates.
“It brings dishonour, discredit and demeans the integrity of that office and (is a) potential embarrassment to the Queen, the Head of State, when she would learn that there are people (in PNG) going around campaigning for support to become candidates.
“People should not do that and it is happening and anybody that does that, in my opinion, brings embarrassment and is (automatically) disqualified (for the GG candidacy),” Sir Arnold told The National on Saturday, adding that is was the people that invited or asked one to become a candidate.
He also said the choosing of GG candidates was the prerogative of the members of parliament.
“It is the prerogative of MPs to go to candidates and invite them for candidacy. Not for individuals to come to parliament and say: ‘I’m your man, I’m your woman’ and beating their breasts.”
Sir Arnold was commenting on the recent issues or moves relating to the election of the GG and the issues of suitable candidates.
He said the constitution only provides that the persons who could be eligible for GG candidacy should be qualified to be a member of parliament whose minimum age would have to be 25.
Other general qualifications of candidates for the vice regal post was that one is of sound mind, not declared bankrupt and that the candidate did not have criminal convictions.
Sir Arnold added that the other important reason was the point of maturity of persons nominated for GG candidacy.
He said the candidate must be a prominent and respected member of the community and who meets the requirements under the leadership code.
“All in all, the candidate is someone who will not bring discredit or demean the integrity of the office and position of the governor-general.”