9 Apr 2012

PNG PM uneasy about election deferral

10:37 am on 9 April 2012

Papua New Guinea's prime minister, Peter O'Neill, has distanced himself from a parliamentary vote to defer the June general election by six months.

Mr O'Neill was among the overwhelming majority to vote for the deferral despite advice that the decision was against the constitution which stipulates that elections must he held every five years.

He says ahead of the vote last Thursday, parliament didn't have the correct information from the electoral commissioner.

However, the opposition accused the government of deceiving the House over the matter.

Mr O'Neill's colleagues have defended the deferral, saying the electoral rolls are not ready and security in some areas is still inadequate.

The move also comes after parliament gave itself powers to suspend judges amid a court dispute over the legitimacy of the O'Neill-led administration.