22 Jul 2012

Somare wins PNG parliamentary seat

10:56 am on 22 July 2012

Former Papua New Guinea prime minister Sir Michael Somare has won back his parliamentary seat months after being ousted.

The 76-year-old political veteran reclaimed his East Sepik seat in the country's general elections by a large margin.

In late March 2011, he left the country, days after being suspended from the prime ministership for two weeks, after having been found guilty of financial misconduct.

Sir Michael was absent for five months - some of that time spent getting heart treatment in Singapore - and was removed by Parliament.

The decision caused a crisis that resulted in a failed military mutiny in January.

Sir Michael's rival, Peter O'Neil and his People's National Congress party, is so far leading in the elections, with seven seats compared to five for Sir Michael's Alliance.

Vote counting is due to end next week and all 111 seats are expected to be declared by 27 July.