24 Apr 2012

PNG PM making contradictory statements on elections

8:09 pm on 24 April 2012

There's further uncertainty about the Papua New Guinea government's plans for the national elections, with the prime minister making contradictory statements.

Peter O'Neill told parliament last Friday that the parliamentary motion passed three weeks ago to delay the vote by six months, still stands.

After that decision Mr O'Neill said the election would go ahead as originally scheduled in June because only the Electoral Commissioner had the power to delay a vote.

But there has been continuing conjecture of a delay despite Mr O'Neill telling local media that a report in the Post Courier newspaper that the deferral stands was incorrect.

A Madang MP, Sir Arnold Amet, sought clarity on the matter from Mr O'Neill in parliament.

"So I asked the question last Friday: given those apparent inconsistencies, do you intend to bring a motion to rescind parliament's decision so that your preferred proposal that you've been telling the nation, of no change to the date, would be the case? And he equivocated, he said at the end that parliament's resolution stood."

Sir Arnold Amet says the Post Courier report was correct.