23 Jun 2011

PNG's Polye says it's up to his colleagues whether he becomes next PM

6:40 am on 23 June 2011

The Papua New Guinea MP Don Polye says it is up to MPs and party members to decide if he should be the next Prime Minister and leader of the ruling National Aliance.

This comes a week after the acting Prime Minister Sama Abal sacked Mr Polye as Foreign Minister.

The two men are embroiled in a struggle to be the next National Alliance leader.

The current leader, veteran Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, has been away from work for two months with a serious medical condition and is expected to retire soon.

Don Polye has leadership ambitions but denies he is power hungry.

"If my members in the party and other parliamentary colleagues support me, I'd like to be the leader of the party when the Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare, retires. And of course, if we have the number, I'd like to form the next government."

Don Polye says he accepts Sam Abal's decision to sack him and will continue to support the government.