16 Jul 2002

Call for PNG caretaker government to be former involving all former PMs

5:47 pm on 16 July 2002

The Papua New Guinea prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta has been urged to convene a meeting of former prime ministers to form a caretaker government.

A former prime minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, told the Post Courier that such a move would allow for the deferring of the election of the prime minister, the formation of the new government and the completion of the election process in troublespots within the Highlands region.

Sir Rabbie says the political crisis created by the destruction of ballot boxes and papers and related problems in Enga and Southern Highlands, require a national solution.

He says it is obvious election results may not be declared in a significant number of electorates in those provinces.

Sir Rabbie says if Sir Mekere, Sir Michael Somare, Sir Julius Chan, Paias Wingti and Bill Skate agree with him on what needs to happen, there is a strong chance a national concensus can be achieved and further destruction avoided.

Meanwhile, there has been lobbying to block the Sir Michael from becoming the next prime minister.

Sir Michael was the first prime minister after independence in 1975 and his National Alliance has taken the lead in the vote count.

The group opposed to Sir Michael wants to form the next government and is reported to include the People's National Congress, People's Action Party, Pangu Pati and independents led by Tim Neville and Clemen Nakmai, are holding talks to form the next government.

The Post Courier reported a source as saying the group has agreed on Sir Rabbie Namaliu as their candidate for the prime minister's job.