22 Jun 2012

PNG's Somare says mistreatment behind new poll bid

5:09 pm on 22 June 2012

Papua New Guinea's former Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare says the reason why he changed his mind about retiring and is contesting the general election is to correct parliament's mistreatment of him last year.

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.

Sir Michael says Mr O'Neill's group continues to act as an illegal government, even after parliament rose for the elections.

"I believe now that the time has come that I have to give up but I did not agree with the way I was treated by Parliament. I was sick I was in hospital. I would have taken it very well if it was a normal vote of no confidence, but it was not a vote of no confidence - it was the illegal action of a rogue prime minister."

Sir Michael Somare is contesting the East Sepik regional seat.