The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By MALUM NALU
MEDIA personality Justin ‘JK’ Kili has made himself available for election of the governor-general to be conducted in parliament next Tuesday.
Acting governor-general and North Bougainville MP Michael Ogio, also Minister for Higher Education, was understood to have met sidelined Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday to declare his unavailability for election and to lobby for Kili to contest on behalf of the people of Bougainville.
The government was understood to have asked for Ogio’s candidacy for the GG’s seat, however, he had decided against it because of political commitment to his people as North Bougainville MP.
Kili was said to have the support of all four Bougainville MPs in Ogio, South Bougainville’s Steven Kama, Central Bougainville’s Jimmy Miringtoro and Governor Fidelis Semoso as well as Autonomous Region of Bougainville President John Momis.
Kili, 58, from Lemanmanu village on Buka, confirmed his availability for the governor-general’s post in an interview with The National yesterday.
He is a Queen’s awardee, PNG Logohu medal awardee, two-time prime ministerial awardee, Australian senatorial awardee and the most-trained, most-honoured, and most-celebrated media personnel and industry manager in Papua New Guinea.
Kili would need the support of another 11 MPs to meet the required 15 to be eligible to contest.
He was confident of garnering the support.
“If the people (through their MPs) want me to contest, then I will oblige,” he said.
“If anything comes to fruition, I can honestly say that I am qualified as a citizen of Papua New Guinea.
“I have the international exposure and the regional experience for the job, if the people so want me to do.
“I think I am capable, willing and able.
“If parliament elects me, that’s on merit.
“I have not put my hands up, but the people of Bougainville have put their hands up for me.
“Our (Bougainville) members are pushing for me, so I leave it to them.”
Ogio was not available for comment yesterday.