22 Jun 2012

PNG's Somare dismissive of foreign recognition of O'Neill team

3:09 pm on 22 June 2012

Papua New Guinea's former Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare says recognition of the O'Neill administration by foreign governments does not make it a legal government.

Speaking on the eve of the general election, Sir Michael has reiterated that he was the legitimate Prime Minister for all of the last parliamentary term.

The veteran Prime Minister was voted out by parliament last August due to his prolonged absence from the house with a medical condition, with Peter O'Neill then voted in as his replacement.

However, the move has twice been ruled as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and Sir Michael says Mr ONeill remains a rogue Prime Minister.

"And that's why he is [an] illegal Prime Minister. It is [an] illegal government. I know that other countries accepted him as the Prime Minister but as far as the constitution of Papua New Guinea is concerned he is [an] illegal Prime Minister. I know that the Australian Prime Minister said that she recognises his government but it's all illegal."

Sir Michael Somare is expected to retain the East Sepik regional seat.