Bench to decide who foots bill for GG election

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 29th August, 2012

A FIVE-man bench of the Supreme Court will in October hear an application to determine who bears the legal cost of the 2010 Supreme Court reference that ruled the re-election of Sir Paulias Matane as governor-general was unconstitutional.
The matter was to have proceeded yesterday but with the absence of two judges, the case was adjourned.
Only three judges – Bernard Sakora, David Cannings and George Manuhu – were on the bench. Absent were Sao Gabi and Elenas Batari.
“We need a five-man bench to hear the case,” lawyer Justine Issack, from Manaseh and Company, said.
Issack, who represented the Morobe provincial executive, said they took parliament to court, arguing that the re-election of Sir Paulias was improper.
“The Supreme Court ruled that parliament did not follow proper procedures and ordered parliament to reconvene within 40 days to vote in a new governor-general,” Issack said.
“The Morobe provincial executive took parliament to court and won.
“It (parliament) did not follow the Constitution – it was supposed to go through secret ballot.
“We are asking the parliament and attorney-general to meet the costs,” Issack said.
When parliament voted again, following the Supreme Court ruling, incumbent Sir Michael Ogio, who had then resigned as a government minister, was voted in as the governor-general.