24 Apr 2012

Planned PNG protest rally fizzles

6:18 pm on 24 April 2012

A planned mass protest against the Peter O'Neill government in the Papua New Guinea capital failed to materialise after police said they would not let it go ahead.

Businesses in the capital closed their doors in preparation for the protest, after the Trade Union Congress' general secretary, John Paska, said they would rally at the gates of Parliament House.

He had planned to hand Mr O'Neill a petition demanding the repeal of two laws aimed at reining in the Supreme Court and parliament's recent vote to suspend the elections by six months.

The TUC president, Michael Malabag, who was expected to be involved in the protest, pulled out and announced that later this week he would meet the prime minister to discuss the workers' concerns.

Our correspondent Titi Gabi says this meeting means threatened strike action will not go ahead.