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PNG Supreme Court to Rule on Election Challenge
Source: radioaustralianews.net.au
Source Date: Monday, October 31, 2011
Country: Papua New Guinea
Created: Oct 31, 2011

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has set a date to make a final decision on whether the current government legally took power from former Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

The Court will reach a decision on December 9 after months of the East Sepik provincial government questioning the August election of Peter O'Neill, as Prime Minister.

Sir Michael had been in Singapore for four months recovering from separate heart operations when the decision to oust him was taken.

East Sepik Provincial Executive's lawyer, Ian Molloy, says the August elections were "unconstitutional" because there was no vacancy to elect a new Prime Minister.

After two days of closing arguments, the Supreme Court rose on Friday.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia told the courtroom a panel of five judges will take the "whole month of November" to decide whether the dumping of Sir Michael was constitutional.

Sir Michael has made few public appearances since his return from Singapore in early September.
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