27 Apr 2012

PNG Prime Minister guarantees election will go ahead on time, writs May 18th

5:05 am on 27 April 2012

Papua New Guinea's leading trade unionist says he has been assured by the Prime Minister that elections will go ahead in June.

This comes after weeks of speculation that the government would delay the vote following the passage of legislation allowing for a six month postponement.

The Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill has denied the law has any standing but he has still vacillated on the issue, while some in the coalition have spoken strongly in support of a delay, saying the electoral commission would not be ready.

Mr O'Neill met yesterday with unions, Transparency International, and church leaders.

The Trades Union Congress president Michael Malabag says the groups welcomed Mr O'Neill's guarantee.

"So they agree with the Electoral Commissioner on a date, and this was agreed to by his caucus so everybody will be looking ahead to the issue of writs on the 18th of May. So that is the guarantee that was given by the Prime Minister today."

Papua New Guinea's Trades Union Congress president Michael Malabag