THE PNG Governor-General’s term expires tomorrow and he won a decisive vote for reappointment last Friday, but his re-election remains in doubt.
Sir Paulias Matane has told PNG Attitude that “the 'win' is likely to be taken to court due to misunderstanding of the law”, adding “let's wait and see”.
Three candidates ran against Sir Paulias for the vice regal post - former Enga MP Ronald Rimbao, former Auditor General Sir Makeno Geno, and Sir Pato Kakaraya.
Speaker Jeffery Nape said that, as Sir Paulias was being proposed, the Constitution required Parliament to determine his eligibility for re-appointment by a two-thirds majority vote of 73 members for which an exhaustive secret ballot was not required.
In this 'eligibility' ballot Sir Paulias secured an 84-13 majority.
But there was surprise when Sir Michael Somare moved a motion for Parliament to resolve that Sir Paulias be appointed to a second term.
There was reported “chaos and confusion” in Parliament and members supporting other candidates exchanged abuse, bringing the House into turmoil.
The confusion focused on whether Sir Paulias was merely allowed eligibility to stand for a second term or whether he was elected.
When Sir Paulias was declared re-elected, Morobe Governor Luther Wenge shouted that “democracy has been hijacked”, and Enga Governor Peter Ipatas cried “why are you hijacking this House”.
The matter is now expected to be challenged in court.