Monday, 31 May 2010 9:29 AM

PM Apologizes to GG

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua has apologized to the Governor General for announcing the general election date ahead of the Governor's official proclamation.

In a press statement, the Prime Minister says he revealed the date for the 2010 National General Elections following advice from his Media and Communications Officer that the Governor General had already gazetted a proclamation of the date on the 21st of May 2010.

Prime Minister Dr Sikua admits to revealing the date to a group of Solomon Islands students studying in Papua New Guinea during his recent official trip to Port Moresby and to people of Tasimboko in North Guadalcanal last Sunday at a church opening ceremony.

He says he revealed the date of the general elections believing the information and advice from his Media and Communications Officer was true and correct.

Dr Sikua has since apologized to Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui, and saying he had not intended to demean the role and status of the Governor General.

Meanwhile, a former Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena, has said Prime Minister Derek Sikua's announcement of the date of the national elections is quiet serious.

He says the action is serious in that the Electoral Commission alone has the right to inform the Governor General on a date for the holding of a national general elections, which he does through proclamation in a gazette.

Sir Nathaniel says the Commission through the Ministry of Home Affairs had informed Cabinet about a date of the elections which is special privilege information.

He says the information should not be leaked out by any member of Cabinet including the Prime Minister.

Sir Nathaniel says it is also serious that the Prime Minister had decided to share information which is secret.

"It is unethical for a leader to impart that information to the public by mentioning whatever that date is to the public, when it is supposed to be still secret information, until His Excellency the Governor General has been formally informed by the Commission as required under the law. And that under an appropriate time that His Excellency the Governor General to proclaim that date," said Sir Nathaniel.

Former Governor General Sir Nathaniel said that Dr Sikua's action is unprecedented further stating that "leaders need to do things according to procedures."

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