20 Jan 2012

PNG's Speaker wants Somare referred to police

8:12 am on 20 January 2012

Papua New Guinea's acting speaker has recommended one of the men claiming to be Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, be referred to police over his conduct in Parliament this week.

PNG has slipped into a protracted crisis with the Peter O'Neill-led government holding key positions in the face of Sir Michael Somare claiming to be the legitimate prime minister based on last December's supreme court ruling.

Simon Bird reports

"The majority of parliament late last year voted to dump Sir Michael from his East Sepik electorate, which he has held for 43 years. The deputy Speaker Francis Marus says Sir Michael acted illegally when he and some of his supporters walked into the house chamber and placed the Supreme Court order on the Speaker's desk on Wednesday. He says it is very clear Sir Michael has broken the laws of Papua New Guinea, and more importantly the powers and privileges of Parliament. He therefore recommended that Parliament refer Sir Michael Somare to the relevant authorities. After the scene, Parliament adjourned until Friday morning. The police have made no comment."