21 Sep 2011

PNG court rules against Somare bid to keep parliamentary seat

6:50 am on 21 September 2011

Papua New Guinea's veteran politician, Sir Michael Somare, has lost his bid to keep his seat in parliament.

The National Court ruled against his application for an injunction, saying it wouldn't interfere in the processes of parliament.

The judge told AAP the Supreme Court is the best court to decide these issues.

The Speaker Jeffery Nape had decided two weeks ago that while in Singapore for medical reasons, Sir Michael had missed three consecutive sittings of parliament and was therefore dismissed.

Sir Michael's lawyer says the fight for his seat is not over and an appeal will be lodged today.

This is expected to be tied to another Supreme Court case, which challenges the constitutionality of the dismissal of the Somare government in early August.

Sir Michael became an MP in the 1970s and was the country's first prime minister after independence.