23 May 2012

Attempt to convene PNG parliament fails

3:22 pm on 23 May 2012

Attempts to have a parliamentary meeting in the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby this morning have failed.

One of the country's rival leaders, Peter O'Neill, had called a special meeting of parliament at which he planned to repudiate a Supreme Court decision that the man he deposed in August last year, Sir Michael Somare, is the legitimate prime minister.

Mr O'Neill has called the court decision biased and illegal.

He had endeavoured on Tuesday to bring parliament together but this failed for want of a quorum and that was again the issue this morning.

Our correspondent Titi Gabi says he is trying to locate MPs and get them to the House for a session this afternoon.

"At last check he was still making phone calls from the chambers with his officers. I am not sure, he may resort to a charter arrangement, I don't know, but a lot of the MPs are in very remote areas and just might be a little difficult getting everyone in. He hopes to do that this afternoon - we don't know yet, we will wait and see."

Titi Gabi says the Somare faction has decided to focus on campaigning which is in full swing.