27 May 2004

PNG leader expected to face no-confidence vote

10:24 am on 27 May 2004

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, remains confident he's got enough backing from MPs to repel any vote of no confidence.

Parliament meets today to try, for a third time in seven months, to elect a new Governor General, but the government may face a vote of no-confidence.

The Opposition Leader, Peter O'Neill, says, after the recent reshuffles, and splits within parties, the numbers are evenly divided.

Mr O'Neill says the momentum is with the Opposition, though our correspondent, Peter Niesi, says the Opposition camp may have the backing of less than a third of MPs.

"Firm numbers are thirty, but there has still been talk of numbers going up and down, and given the fluidity of PNG politics, you can't rule that completely out. But Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, speaking through national radio, a couple of days ago, indicated firmly that he's got the numbers to stay until 2007."