10 Apr 2012

Demonstration planned against PNG election deferral

6:40 am on 10 April 2012

A march is expected to go ahead in Port Moresby this morning in protest at last week's vote to defer the June general election by six months.

The decision has angered civil society groups, and the opposition says it has been deceived because there was no recommendation from the electoral commission to change the dates.

Beverley Tse reports

"The government says any march on parliament today will be illegal. But a student leader, Nou Vada, says he expects the rally to go ahead and to be peaceful as was a march two weeks ago when students demonstrated against the Judicial Conduct Law which parliament passed to give it the right to suspend judges. Mr Vada says PNG now has a parliament and a government that has been breaking laws and is lying to the nation on national television. The electoral commissioner says the 2012 poll will go ahead as scheduled. At the weekend, the prime minister, Peter O'Neill, distanced himself from the vote, saying the election will go ahead in June as scheduled, although he was among the overwhelming majority to approve the deferral."