12 Apr 2012

PNG parliament to meet amid election controversy

10:48 am on 12 April 2012

Papua New Guinea's parliament is due to sit again today amid controversy about the legality of it deferring the elections and passing the Judicial Conduct Act.

The Speaker, Jeffery Nape, insists the Electoral Commission must recognise last week's parliamentary vote to delay the poll by six months.

Johnny Blades reports

"The Speaker's stance clashes with that of the Prime Minister who has declared that elections will go ahead as originally scheduled, in late June. Despite voting for the deferral, Peter O'Neill now claims parliament's motion is non-binding on the Electoral Commissioner. Meanwhile, Mr Nape has cited the Morobe Governor, Luther Wenge, for gross contempt of Parliament, after he filed a legal challenge on the validity of the Judicial Conduct Act. Opposition Leader, Dame Carol Kidu, is also being investigated for accusing officers of Parliament of fraud in relation to the Act. However the Supreme Court found an appearance of illegality in the Judicial Conduct Act and has stayed its enactment and parliament's referral of the Chief Justice and another top judge for suspension, under the Act, last week."