THE only woman candidate for the post of Attorney General, Josepha Kanawi, has declined to join the proceedings disputing the process used in the selection of candidates.
Mrs Kanawi said yesterday her interest should be represented by the State based on equality.
“Who makes the decision whether I should join in the John Kawi proceedings? I feel that my interest should be represented by the State Lawyers, because the State is bound by its Constitution provisions on equality and non discrimination based on sex.”
She said the position of Attorney General was a merit-based appointment, and she believed she met all the requirements.
She said she was the most senior admitted lawyer among the candidates, the most senior officer in terms of service to the Department and State, the most consistent and continually employed in the service of the Department and State from 1978 to 2006, and more academically qualified (with post graduate qualifications) than the others.
She also said PNG ratified CEDAW and the appointment of women in decision making process will only confirm our obligations under CEDAW.
“By not going to the Courts in joining John Kawi, I am not saying I am not interested in the proceedings that he is instituting. My contention for the job of the Secretary and Attorney General still stands and if I am removed from the list that goes to the National Executive Council, then it would be the appropriate time for me to go to Court and not before.”
Mrs Kanawi said this after receiving a notice of motion from Bill Nouairi Lawyers representing Mr Kawi seeking whether she would be a party to the proceedings.
One candidate Fred Tomo had joined the proceedings and three others including Zachery Gelu, Francis Damem and Samson Endahipa have until today to state whether to join the proceedings.
On Dec 15, Mr Kawi obtained a court order restraining Public Services Minister Sinai Brown and the Public Service Commission (PSC) from submitting a shortlist of candidates to the NEC pending the determination of the judicial review.
Mr Kawi wants the court to review the PSC’s decision to exclude him from a shortlist of candidates from the Attorney General’s position early last year.
Mr Kawi’s grounds for the review are based on alleged breached of natural justice where he claims he was not accorded the right to be heard over allegations levelled against him by an anonymous letter.
He claims that the allegations were the reasons the PSC decided to exclude him from the short list.
The case came up for a hearing yesterday, but was adjourned to Feb 10 to allow counsels to renew their practicing certificates.
[Cut and Paste frtom the National Tuesday 31st January 2006]
Too many cooks spoil the soup - in other words too many lawyers always running to the courts with their own interpretations of the law consequently nothing gets moving and we are in the same position - no progress. Jas givim tasol lo husat qualified candidate na inap ya. Mi sapotim Josepha Kanawi...about time we start having some women candidates as leaders in the respective government departments and let's see if things will change for the better.
I would go for qualification and merit-based rather than the point on gender equality coz PNG has had enough of trial-and-error based appointments and cronyism. If Kanawi is qualified, give it to her coz she deserves it not as a woman but as a qualified Papua New Guinean. After then, we can say, "PNG Women are Advancing". Otherwise, we've had enough of cronynism and are fed up with the way things are going. All the best to Kanawi!
We have had enough of court cases after court cases on almost everything, the lawyers are becoming overnight millionaires.
Give the AG to her or Fred Tomo if they are qualified, I am fed up to the bone over reappointing former and recycled public servants. They are getting hefty payouts on termination of their contracts only a few months in office and are bloody reaping me as a tax-payer.
The Government has so many legal issues that needs the best of brains to settle in court on behalf of the State and correctly interpret agreements like the ECP instead of some smart lawyer come politician making a mockery of the AG and his team.