19 Dec 2011

PNG's parliament resumes amid tension

11:33 am on 19 December 2011

Papua New Guinea's parliament resumes today, amid the crisis which still sees 2 men claiming to be Prime Minister.

Peter O'Neill has declared that his government, backed by 75 MPs, has seized control of official offices as well as the police hierarchy.

His rival, Sir Michael Somare, maintains he is the Prime Minister, and has issued court documents seeking for his candidate to be named the police commissioner.

Mr O'Neill's parliament today hopes to pass several key pieces of legislation, including next year's budget, and the law to create 22 women-only seats before next year's election.

However, that law can only be passed with 83 votes in the house, meaning Sir Michael's camp will have to be in parliament to support it.

Meanwhile, NBC News reports Buckingham Palace has reportedly refused to recognise Jeffery Nape, as the acting Governor General or acting Head of State.

Mr Nape was appointed the acting Governor General, after Peter O'Neill used his parliamentary support to suspend the Queen's representative and then had his cabinet sworn-in.

NBC news reports Government House sources saying Buckingham Palace will not entertain any instruments signed by Nape, nor the O'Neill government since it still recognises Sir Michael Ogio as the Governor General, and Sir Michael Somare as the Prime Minister of PNG.

They said Buckingham Palace was informed of the situation in PNG, and will not entertain instruments to suspend or dismiss Sir Michael Ogio.