13 Jan 2012

PNG watchdog says political crisis may jeopardise elections

1:44 pm on 13 January 2012

Papua New Guinea's anti-corruption watchdog says there's widespread concern that the ongoing political crisis will force the postponement of the mid-year election.

PNG is in the unprecedented position of having two competing governments and Prime Ministers, and a court ruling that will determine which has legitimacy is imminent.

Transparency International PNG's Richard Kassman says despite popular support for the Peter O'Neill-led government, people want to know whether it is his or Sir Michael Somare's cabinet that is legitimate.

Mr Kassman says it's important for the laws of the country that the Supreme Court provide that clarity and set a precedent.

"The best thing for Papua New Guinea is that this rolls on and the elections proceed and we go through and the people speak, parliament resumes in August and a Prime Minister is elected."

Richard Kassman says he doesn't think people will tolerate elections being delayed.