21 Dec 2011

Somare defiance continues as PNG agencies back O'Neill

2:35 pm on 21 December 2011

While the various organs of government in Papua New Guinea have formally backed Peter O'Neill as prime minister, Sir Michael Somare continues to maintain that he is the country's legitimate leader.

In a fresh statement, Sir Michael says the actions of the O'Neill/Namah regime are illegal and they had no right to remove him as the MP for East Sepik.

Sir Michael, who helped draw up the constitution nearly 40 years ago, says the document does not allow MPs to remove fellow members of parliament at whim or on the basis of political vendettas.

He says removing an MP is the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Court.

Sir Michael says this is the first time in 36 years that parliament has made retrospective amendments to an Act of Parliament seeking to legitimise its self-serving actions.