20 Sep 2011

PNG awaits court decision on Somare dumping

12:15 pm on 20 September 2011

A court decision is expected today on the legality of the dismissal from parliament of former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare.

Sir Michael wants the courts to declare null and void his removal two weeks ago as East Sepik regional MP on the grounds he'd missed three consecutive sessions of parliament without approval.

The decision is due just before a new session of Parliament opens and could see Sir Michael resume his seat.

If that happens it could affect a Supreme Court decision, expected next month, into parliament's declaration on August the 2nd that the prime minister's position, which had also been held by Sir Michael, was vacant.

An ally of Sir Michael, the only woman in the PNG Parliament, Dame Carol Kidu, says she's appalled at the way he's been treated.

"And when he's in the twilight of his career, I thought it was going to a very low level of politics because we know that mentally he's come through this thing very well. I don't see him sitting in the Prime Minister's seat again but I would like to see him finish his term, not be dismissed from Parliament."