11 Jul 2008

PNG PM Somare advised to stand down amid misconduct allegations

2:31 pm on 11 July 2008

There are reports in Papua New Guinea that the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has been advised to stand down amid allegations of misconduct in office.

Local reports say the advice is to protect the long time leader's integrity, his National Alliance Party and the nation.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Oseah Philemon, says two close associates of Sir Michael are among those wanting his job.

"That is his own son Arthur and another is the Treasurer, Patrick Pruaitch. It is something that has come as a shock to many people as to why this pressure is coming on, but there are reports that this is all connected with his referral by the Ombudsman Commission to the public prosecutor and the likelihood he may be referred to the Leadership Tribunal."

Oseah Philemon reporting