20 Dec 2011

PNG's Somare group insist on application of Supreme Court ruling

2:05 pm on 20 December 2011

The political grouping led by Papua New Guinea's Sir Michael Somare continues to assert its right to govern despite the Peter O'Neill administration appearing to extend its control.

Mr O'Neill and Sir Michael have been battling for power since a Supreme Court ruling reinstated Sir Michael on Monday last week.

Using his majority in parliament, Mr O'Neill claims to be the de facto leader, backed by the police, the public service and the governor general.

But the Attorney General in the Somare grouping, Sir Arnold Amet, says they haven't been deterred and are waiting for a declaration from the courts that the Supreme Court ruling must be upheld.

"They may well, by numerical strength, be purporting to pass a whole lot of different decisions and legislations and purporting to get sworn in, and recognition, by the governor general, but ultimately, and this is the fundamental question, ultimately, our constitution's interpretation and application must prevail, and that is our resolve."

The executive director of the PNG Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, says the stage now appears set for the O'Neill/Namah grouping to run the country through to the next election.

There are certainly issues that are going to probably be needing to be addressed over the next period of time, but it is certainly appearing at this stage that the O'Neill government is the government that seems to be in force at this stage.

The executive director of the PNG Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker.

PNG is due to go to elections in the middle of next year.