14 Mar 2012

PNG's NA fears election delays

6:33 pm on 14 March 2012

The president of Papua New Guinea's former ruling National Alliance party, Simon Kaiwi, says he fears the O'Neill government will ride roughshod over the constitution and defer the elections.

There have been several calls for a delay from MPs, including from the Speaker, citing the lack of preparedness of the Electoral Commission.

Mr Kaiwi says that's contrary to what the Commission itself says, and he says while the common roll still needs to be completed, there is substantial time for that.

"But this is what I believe that it can be done in the next couple of months until the voting opens in June. You see the writs are open in April but the voting actually takes places in June, so given April and May and towards the end of June, there's ample time."

Simon Kaiwi says the people need to demand their rights for elections to go ahead on time.

The National Alliance splintered when leader Sir Michael Somare was removed from office last August.

It now has 14 MPs.