12 Apr 2012

Senior PNG minister says Electoral Commissioner must be left free to make election decision

7:21 pm on 12 April 2012

A senior minister in Papua New Guinea's O'Neill government says the Electoral Commissioner must be left free to make his own decision about the elections timetable without pressure from government.

The Treasurer, Don Polye, was one of the 63 MPs who last week voted for a six month deferral of the elections.

However, following public outrage over the motion, the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says the elections will now go ahead as originally scheduled by the Electoral Commissioner, in late June.

Mr Polye says he agrees with Mr O'Neill.

"We don't want to be seen as deviating or wandering off the course of democracy or the course of following the constitution. We've given the due respect to the Electoral Commissioner, his right to make his decision independent of any influence from cabinet or parliament."

Don Polye says he believes the Electoral COmmission is prepared enough for the elections to go ahead.

He says he voted for deferral last week as an act of solidarity with the government, knowing that it was a non-binding motion.