20 Feb 2012

PNG's Somare to stand in next election to prove support

6:50 am on 20 February 2012

Papua New Guinea's grand chief Sir Michael Somare has announced he plans to return to parliament to prove to his political rivals that he still enjoys the support of his East Sepik electorate.

Sir Michael has been embroiled in a political stand-off, claiming he is the legitimate Prime Minister after being ousted from Parliament.

Sir Michael, who has reached retirement age, says he doesn't want to return but the manner in which parliament, particularly the O'Neill-led government, had been treating him forced him to reconsider his decision to retire.

He told the newspaper, the National, he was retained by the people of East Sepik in the past nine elections, and is confident of being returned by a big margin.