16 Sep 2011

PNG court adjourns Somare dismissal case until Tuesday

4:20 am on 16 September 2011

The veteran Papua New Guinea politician Sir Michael Somare will have to wait until Tuesday to see if the National Court will grant an injunction against his dismissal from parliament.

After a day of legal wrangling yesterday, the judge adjourned the matter until September the 20th, half an hour before parliament is scheduled to resume.

The former prime minister is petitioning the court to rule his dismissal last week null and void, erasing the decision that saw him dumped from the East Sepik seat he's held for more than 40 years.

His lawyer argued that Speaker of the House Jeffery Nape acted against parliamentary procedure when he dismissed Sir Michael for missing three consecutive sittings of parliament while he was in Singapore recovering from heart surgery.

36 years ago today, PNG became independent and Sir Michael the new nation's first prime minister.