20 Jan 2012

PNG's Somare decries actions against him as dictatorial

1:52 pm on 20 January 2012

Papua New Guinea's veteran politician Sir Michael Somare says banning members from entering parliament and threatening to arrest them is criminal and dictatorial.

Sir Michael claims he is still the legitimate Prime Minister following a supreme court ruling in December, but the Peter O'Neill-led side retains most key government positions.

An attempt by Sir Michael to retake his seat in parliament this week was stopped amid roudy scenes.

The newspaper, The National, reports Sir Michael as saying he was shocked to learn that Mr O'Neill had threatened to order police to arrest him if he ventured near parliament again.

He says this is the first time this has happened in 36 years of independence, and no one has the right to stop him or any other member entering the people's parliament.

He likened the presence of armed policemen at the entrances to parliament and the threats of arrest to a dictatorial act.