15 Dec 2011

PNG's GG drawn into political deadlock

5:24 am on 15 December 2011

The crisis created by an unprecedented political deadlock in Papua New Guinea has now engulfed the office of the Governor General.

One of the two men claiming to be Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, was reinstated along with his cabinet by the Governor-General yesterday while the other, Peter O'Neill, used his parliamentary support to remove the Queen's representative.

Johnny Blades reports

"Peter O'Neill and his supporters, who constitute the majority of PNG's MPs, continue to defy Monday's Supreme Court ruling that his election in August was illegal. They removed the Governor General, Sir Michael Ogio, and installed the Speaker as acting Governor-General to swear-in Mr O'Neill and his cabinet in another day of political drama amid tight police security in Port Moresby. The O'Neill group, which is occupying parliament, has authorised an appeal against the Supreme Court 's decision that reinstated Sir Michael Somare. But with neither side willing to back down yet, PNG is grappling with the chaos of having two Prime Ministers, two governments, two Police Commissioners and two Governors-General."