17 Oct 2011

PNG's Somare says he wasn't consulted about retirement

8:15 pm on 17 October 2011

Papua New Guinea's former Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare says he wasn't consulted as to his future in politics, when his family announced his retirement from politics on health grounds.

Sir Michael has told the Supreme Court that no consultation was made with him when his son, Arthur, called a press conference in late June to make that announcement.

The court is hearing evidence as to the fitness of Sir Michael for holding office as a MP and Prime Minister, ahead of the case challenging his removal from office in parliament.

Our correspondent Jonathan Tannos says Sir Michael has distanced himself from any suggestion that he was resigning although it was clearly the wish of his family as he struggled with a heart condition.

"He has made it clear that any decisions for him to step down are his and his alone. So indications so far are that come next year, the election, he'll run in office again."

Jonathan Tannos