30 Jan 2012

Somare camp urges early elections for PNG, but won't attend parliament

6:45 am on 30 January 2012

Papua New Guinea's rival attorney general says the Somare camp is unlikely to attend parliament to vote to hold an early election.

The Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, says he will ask MPs to vote to dissolve parliament, and go to early polls to end the current political impasse.

The veteran politician Sir Michael Somare claims to be the legitimate prime minister based on a court ruling, but Peter O'Neill's government has the support of key institutions.

Sir Arnold Amet says the Somare camp does not recognise the legitimacy of Peter O'Neill's government, and won't be attending parliament.

"That is a tricky political question as to whether members of parliament on his side are ready and willing to go to the polls early. I suspect not. We have urged them to do that, given our impasse, and our constituents, our people, really do decide to get this nonsense out of the way, and go to them to give us our mandate again."

Sir Arnold Amet says even if Parliament is dissolved, it is unlikely an election could feasibly be held before June.