12 Sep 2011

PNG minister confident over Somare ouster

4:17 am on 12 September 2011

A Papua New Guinea cabinet minister says he is confident the new government can withstand court challenges over the latest leadership change.

Last week, the speaker Jeffrey Nape claimed constitutional provisions allowed him to disqualify Sir Michael Somare from parliament because he had missed three consecutive sessions while having extended medical leave in Singapore.

The trade minister, Charles Abel, says questions will be asked but he says he believes the spirit of the law has been followed.

"We had a situation where we had a long period of time without a properly mandated Prime Minister, in the absence of the properly mandated Prime Minister. The circumstances were not properly explained to Parliament. And in the good of the country we felt we had to have a properly mandated Prime Minister, to get on with the business of running Papua New Guinea."

The trade minister, Charles Abel.