13 Apr 2012

Australian Minister says PNG leaders should get some slack in political crisis

7:53 am on 13 April 2012

The Australian parliamentary secretary of foreign affairs, Richard Marles, says Papua New Guinea's political leaders should be cut some slack over the current political crisis.

There has been an outcry over the actions of the Peter O'Neill government in trying to suspend senior judges and delay the elections - actions some say are unconstitutional.

In the latest development the prime minister says the election will go ahead on time and that the government has no authority to intervene.

Mr Marles says the pivotal event in all this - the prolonged illness of veteran leader Sir Michael Somare, was a very difficult situation for MPs to confront.

"I think we do need to show some understanding in relation to that, but certainly the way forward is to make sure that there are elections that are held on time. I think the PNG public have been making their views known in relation to that but I think the efforts of Peter O'Neill and the Cabinet are very much to be applauded because they are moving this thing in the right direction."