10 Apr 2012

Thousands rally in Papua New Guinea with demands over elections

3:25 pm on 10 April 2012

Thousands of people have rallied in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby demanding elections are not deferred and the withdrawal of a controversial new law to suspend judges.

The rally comes after a special meeting of the Peter O'Neill led cabinet yesterday which agreed elections would go ahead in June but that there would be a one month deferral of an essential step in the election process, the Issue of Writs.

This was earlier scheduled for 27th of April.

Our correspondent Titi Gabi estimated the crowd at the sports stadium in Port Moresby at six to seven thousand.

She says the Prime Minister, Mr O'Neill, was expected to arrive after Parliament had adjourned in order to be presented with a petition from assembled groups.

Titi Gabi says the mood is one of unity with people demanding an answer from the government or the withdrawal of services such as power and transport.

She says there have been some reports of looting and security issues outside the stadium despite a large police presence.