11 Jan 2011

PNG parliament to elect new GG

2:34 pm on 11 January 2011

Papua New Guinea's parliament will meet today for a special sitting to vote for a new governor-general.

The opposition coalition is hoping to use the sitting as an opportunity to launch a vote of no confidence against the embattled government but there are doubts the acting speaker will allow the motion to be heard.

Up to 10 senior figures have indicated they would like the governor-general posting and MPs are expected to decide this afternoon.

The vote comes after the Supreme Court ruled in December that the June election of Sir Paulias Matane was unconstitutional and ordered parliament to sit before January the 20th for another rounding of voting.

The court decision was another twist in a dramatic end to 2010 that also included the standing down of the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and a snap cabinet reshuffle replacing the deputy prime minister.

There is speculation Sir Michael will come back to preside over the governor-general vote, despite standing aside to face a yet to be established leadership tribunal regarding alleged misconduct in office.

Last November, the government adjourned parliament until May to stave off repeated vote of no confidence attempts.