Muthuvel citizenship status a ‘wild’ allegation

A ground of the petition disputing Sasindran Muthuvel’s election on his citizenship status has been described as a wild allegation.

The second term MP had the petition against him dismissed yesterday as it was found to be incompetent.

Chris Lagisa alleged that Muthuvel had a dual citizenship status however, the court found that was just an assumption.

Muthuvel’s Indian passport was surrendered to the Indian High Commission in May of 2007.

“The court described very clearly that if the petitioner was genuine, he would have given the evidence to court,” Muthuvel told the media after the decision.

“The saddest part for me is that during election, the petitioner and his supporters heavily campaigned that I’m a foreigner and even if people vote for me, I will lose the election and be disqualified based on the fact that I’m not a PNG citizen.”

The West New Britain governor said he sat as a member of parliament when the law on dual citizenship was passed in 2014.

“PNG does not recognise India as a dual citizenship country. India does not recognise any country for that matter with dual citizenship.

“PNG only recognises six countries; Solomon Islands, Samoa, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu. These are the six countries where citizens are qualified to apply for dual citizenship in PNG.

“We enacted the law, we know clearly that anyone who holds a dual citizenship does not qualify to hold any public office or even stand for public office.

“As soon as I got my citizenship in 2007 May, my Indian passport was surrendered to Indian High Commission and that was acknowledged by Indian Government through the Indian High Commission, relinquishing my Indian passport as well as my two children’s.

“For the last 15 years I have been using only PNG passport and I hold only single citizenship and loyal to only one country. I am under oath before receiving PNG citizenship.

“If I’m not a PNG citizen, how could the system allow me to be a governor for the past 5 years? It’s not just an insult to me but the people of West New Britain who voted for me in good faith to represent them.

“So I’m happy about today’s (Wednesday) decision and that they described it (his status) as a wild allegation. Overall I’m satisfied with the court’s wisdom on this case,” Muthuvel added.

(Governor Muthuvel with his lawyer, Stanley Liria)

Sally Pokiton