27 Feb 2012

PNG's Sir Michael Somare says election must go ahead on time

2:54 pm on 27 February 2012

Sir Michael Somare has warned against delaying Papua New Guinea's General Elections this year.

In a statement, Sir Michael says that indications from the government of Peter O'Neill that it might delay elections planned for the middle of this year are just another attempt to violate the constitution in order to stay in power.

Johnny Blades reports.

"A report on poll preparations, tabled in parliament on Friday by the Electoral commission, says the electoral roll is about 60 per cent complete. Some government MPs claim the roll is actually more incomplete than the Commission is saying and that biometric technology to counter voter fraud is still six months away from being able to be used. However Sir Michael Somare, who also claims to be the Prime Minister, says elections must go ahead as planned. However, Sir Michael's Attorney General, Sir Arnold Amet, says he would consider supporting a temporary suspension of the elections if it meant they would be free and fair. He says 40 per cent unregistered voters at this point is grossly unacceptable."