8 Jul 2011

PNG opposition again queries Somare resignation

1:39 pm on 8 July 2011

Papua New Guinea's opposition leader has questioned the legality of the move by the family of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to retire the veteran politician.

Belden Namah's comment comes after Sir Michael's son Arthur, a government MP, last week announced the Prime Minister's retirement for medical reasons.

Mr Namah says the position of Prime Minister doesn't belong to any one family.

"The position belongs to the country. I dispute his son's claim that his father is retiring. He has no authority whatsoever. This is not an anarchy. This is a democratically elected government. The executive government needed to invoke section 1425 C of Papua New Guinea's constitution, meaning that two independent doctors need to be appointed to report on the health of the Prime Minister."

Belden Namah says if it is independently verified that Sir Michael is unfit for office, parliament must vote for a new Prime Minister.

Mr Namah has also reiterated his support for former judge Nemo Yalo's bid for a judicial review of the legality of the appointment of the acting Prime Minister Sam Abal.