Monday, April 23, 2012

Debate on poll chief heats up

Source: The National, Monday 23rd April 2012

THERE is growing evidence that the government may sack Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen, removing a steadfast obstacle to parliament’s vote to suspend the June election by six months.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said last Friday the government appointments committee was investigating an alleged discrepancy in Trawen’s reappointment as head of the commission in 2010 by the government of Sir Michael Somare.
O’Neill said he had received legal advice that the appointment of Trawen was flawed.
He said he had advised the chief secretary to look into the matter and report back to the appointments committee.
If the appointment |was flawed asadvised, then the committee would make the appropriate decision.
“If it is not addressed, then everyone will take the matter to court.
“Therefore, we will do what is right to ave the integrity of the Electoral Commission.
“We did not want to make any decision as we did not want people to misconstrue our intentions and accuse us of doing it for our benefit.”
O’Neill was responding to a question raised by Kundiawa-Gembogl MP Tobias Kulang, who wanted to know if the government was aware of an article in The National of the flawed appointment of the electoral commissioner.
Documents received by The National revealed that Trawen had reached 55, the normal public service retirement age, but was reappointed in February 2010 for a five-year term

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