14 Dec 2011

PNG's governor general meeting with Sir Michael Somare as crisis enters 3rd day

12:10 pm on 14 December 2011

Sir Michael Somare has begun a meeting with Papua New Guinea's governor-general, after which the head of state is expected to issue a declaration on who is prime minister.

As the political crisis in PNG enters its third day, the other man with a claim on the top job, Peter O'Neill, has convened parliament to sit for this morning.

Meanwhile, the nation's defence force has dismissed rumours of a military coup resulting from the political impasse.

The Post Courier newspaper quotes the head of the Defence Force, Brigadier General Francis Agwi saying the Defence Force neither seeks, nor would accept, any part to play in the politics of PNG.

Mr O'Neill was elected prime minister after he and 73 other MPs voted to dump Sir Michael's government in August, but the Supreme Court declared the move unconstitutional this week and ordered Sir Michael returned to office.

Mr O'Neill, who has refused to recognise the court's decision, met with governor-general, Sir Michael Ogio, on Tuesday, after he and about 60 MPs loyal to him stormed past a police barricade to the gates of Government House.

After the short meeting, Mr O'Neill told reporters the governor-general said he would meet with Sir Michael on Wednesday before deciding who is prime minister.