19 Apr 2007

PNG government says too late to put back date of election

7:48 pm on 19 April 2007

The Papua New Guinea government says it is too late to make the legislative changes that would be needed to delay the June national election.

The parliamentary committee on law and order made the call last month saying that the electoral commission was not ready for the poll and that people in the highlands were concerned about the potential for violence.

The issue has been discussed in Parliament today and as our correspondent Alex Rheeney reports, dismissed by the deputy prime minister, Don Polye.

"The deputy prime minister told parliament that in order for the elections to be deferred there have to be amendments made to the organic law on the national and local level government as well as the constitution and at the moment the government is struggling to even get the numbers to pass [standard] legislation so it will be definitely be defeated if they decide to go down that path."

Changes to the organic law or constitution require the support of two thirds of MPs.