House opens today for start to GG race

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The National- Tuesday, January 11, 2011


PARLIAMENT will resume this afternoon to start the process for the election of a new governor-general.

The Supreme Court, on Dec 10 last year, ruled the election of Sir Paulias Matane unconstitutional and ordered parliament to meet immediately and elect a new GG.

Acting Speaker Francis Marus would call for nominations to open when parliament resumes at 2pm today. He would then adjourn for 10 days to allow candidates to seek a proposer and the signatures of 15 members of parliament backing their candidacy.

All nominees would then be screened to ensure all requirements were met. The names would then be returned to parliament for votes to be taken through the secret ballot.

The office of the clerk said it all depended on the acting speaker, who may adjourn for three days or 10 days, for the vote to take place.

Candidates who have indicated their interests included Sir Paulias, Ronald Rimbao, Sir Pato Kakaraya, Sir Makena Geno, radio personality Justin Kili, former Morobe premier Enny Moatz, Sir Matiabe Yuwi and Sir Barry Holloway.

The office of the clerk was expecting between four and six candidates to pass the elimination process, given that 15 MPs had to sign in support of only one candidate.

Meawnhile, acting governor-general and Sinasina-Yongomugl MP Jeffrey Nape said yesterday that due to family matters, he had been on leave and would not preside over today’s parliament proceedings.

“When the Supreme Courts made its ruling, I was acting governor-eneral. 

“With respect to the office of the governor-general, I refrain from making political statements.”

Nape said he was confident that Marus would preside over tomorrow’s proceedings without a problem.

“It must be made known that the acting speaker will do his job and no one must mislead the public. 

“The procedures of the election of the governor-general have been made clear by the Supreme Court so the mistakes will be rectified and the country will have a governor-general who will be properly elected by parliament.”