20 Dec 2011

PNG's Somare vows to return to court,

11:24 am on 20 December 2011

Papua New Guinea's political crisis appears to have ended, with the nation's civil service, armed forces and newly restored governor-general all lining up behind Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

The Governor-General, Sir Michael Ogio, sent a letter to parliament yesterday apologising for signing in the ministry of Sir Michael Somare on Wednesday morning, citing bad legal advice that led him to the decision.

The letter said that any decision to swear in the Somare government in law is wrong and invalid.

Peter O'Neill welcomed the Governor General's change of heart.

"I thank the Governor General for the humility that he has shown and the courage he has shown for the best interest of the country."

But Sir Michael Somare, the man who was last week ordered to be restored to government by the Supreme Court, remains defiant, saying Mr O'Neill's overwhelming numbers in parliament do not matter.

I've been sworn as a prime minister, there is only one cabinet and one prime minister.

Sir Michael Somare says he will go back to the courts.

The courts in Papua New Guinea are now closed for the holidays and are due to reopen again in February.