Minister denies claims to remove PNG election boss

National, Normal

The National, Monday 05th December 2011

THE national government has denied claims last week about plans to remove Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen from office.
Minister responsible for the electoral office Wake Goi said the reports were mere speculations fabricated to cause confusion and anxiety among the people of Papua New Guinea.
The National Broadcasting Commission television network Kundu 2 had quoted Madang regional MP Sir Arnold Amet last Thursday saying that there were plans by the government to remove Trawen and PNG Defence Force commander Brig-Gen Francis Agwi.
Trawen, when contacted, said he was neither aware nor advised of any such moves.
When denying Sir Arnold’s claims, describing them as “baseless and unfounded”, the state minister said in a media statement last Friday: “As long as I am the minister responsible for electoral commission under the O’Neill-Namah government, Trawen will not be removed or replaced.
“I urge him to continue the good work,” Goi said.
“The general election is about five months away and who would sanely want to undo the good work and timely
preparations being undertaken by the commission under the stewardship of chief commissioner Trawen?
“The incumbent is the most suitable and well-experienced senior officer in the commission to effectively implement the elections as experienced in the past,” Goi said.
“I challenge Sir Arnold, as a former chief justice himself, to provide the facts and not speculate.
“Please, stop this public outcry nuisance and, instead, do something worthwhile,” the minister said.