The National- Monday, January 17, 2011
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE National Parliament has elected Member for North Bougainville and Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Michael Ogio as the ninth Governor-General of Papua New Guinea.
Voting for the new GG went ahead last Friday despite a notice of appeal being served to the acting speaker, the clerk of parliament, the acting Prime Minister and the state solicitor.
The government, with its strength in numbers, elected Ogio defeating his rival Sir Pato Kakaraya 65-23 while another eight votes were declared informal.
Before taking the vote, Western Governor Bob Danaya raised a point of order if Ogio was going
to vote himself, but the speaker ruled it out of order after giving several references of the elections of Sir John Guise and
Sir Wiwa Korowi who were elected governor-general while being members of the House of Assembly and parliament.
Deputy opposition leader Bart Philemon also raised a point of order, asking the acting speaker if he was aware of any notice of appeal documents being served but the acting speaker Francis Marus said he was not aware of any court proceedings or order being served.
Vanimo-Green MP and PNG party leader Belden Namah also asked the chair to explain if Sir Paulias Matane qualified to be voted, but the acting speaker said he did not qualify.
As the vote was about to be taken, Ogio upon the point order raised on his eligibility to vote, sought leave of parliament and walked out of the chamber.
Before he takes up his post as GG, Ogio will travel to England to meet the Queen.
However, it is not known when this will happen.
This now leaves a vacancy in the ministry of higher education and the office of the member for North Bougainville.
A by-election is likely to take place as 18 months remains before the general elections next year when the writs will be expected out in May.