17 Apr 2012

PNG government warned against declaring state of emergency

12:48 pm on 17 April 2012

A Papua New Guinea MP is warning the government not to consider declaring a state of emergency.

Arthur Somare, who is the son of the veteran leader Sir Michael Somare, says he believes the government is planning such a move.

He points to the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill saying the country faces a constitutional crisis and that this may be used as the pretext to declare an emergency.

Mr O'Neill has indicated he could use parliament's oversight powers to deal with the judiciary.

Mr Somare says it is not a constitutional crisis but rather a personal crisis for Mr O'Neill who is losing control of his government.

He says MPs must acknowledge that their power comes from the people and they must go back to the people for endorsement before making any fundamental changes.

Since December, Sir Michael has claimed to have the court's backing to be reinstated as prime minister.