14 Dec 2011

Moves to dump PNG Governor General ahead of PM choice

1:36 pm on 14 December 2011

Peter O'Neill is believed to have scheduled a vote to dump Papua New Guinea's governor-general before he declares whether Mr O'Neill or Sir Michael Somare is the nation's prime minister.

The governor-general, Sir Michael Ogio, was meeting with Sir Michael Somare today, after which the head of state was expected to issue a declaration on who is prime minister.

The governor-general's declaration was due to break a three-day political impasse sparked by a Supreme Court ruling that Mr O'Neill's August election was unconstitutional and Sir Michael Somare should be reinstated as prime minister.

At the same time as the meeting, Mr O'Neill has convened parliament and AAP understands he and about 60 MPs have scheduled a vote to dump the governor-general.

A spokeswoman for Sir Michael says the O'Neill camp is desperate.

A heavily-armed contingent of guards were blocking the street leading up to Government House on Wednesday morning.