25 Apr 2012

PNG PM wants review of electoral commissioner's appointment

6:47 pm on 25 April 2012

The Papua New Guinea prime minister has again said he will address what he calls the legal flaw in the appointment of the electoral commissioner, Andrew Trawen.

Peter O'Neill made the comment in parliament amid ongoing controversy over the date of this year's general election.

He says in 2010 Mr Trawen was allowed to stay on for a second term despite him reaching the retirement age of 55 following a process that took less than three minutes.

Mr O'Neill says if this is not corrected, there will be serious legal problems before and after the elections.

He says a decision will be made by a committee, which will include - among others - the opposition leader and the Chairman of Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Appointments.

Mr Trawen has said polling will go ahead in June as planned while Mr O'Neill has made contradictory statements, at times siding with those who want a six-month deferral.