13 Mar 2008

PNG PM Somare says he is ready to quit

2:42 pm on 13 March 2008

On the eve of celebrating 40 years in politics, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has announced he is ready to quit.

Sir Michael, who celebrates the milestone this Sunday and his 72nd birthday next month, says he does not want to stay in power anymore.

He told the newspaper, The National, that he didn't want to stay in power but wanted to ensure the continuation of the type of establishment now in place.

Sir Michael, who had been chief minister under the Australian colonial government, became the country's first Prime Minister at independence in 1975.

He has been PNG's leader on three subsequent occasions with the current spell now extending to nearly six years.