22 Jul 2002

PNG's first Prime Minister has withdrawn legal action over the extension of election voting

10:13 am on 22 July 2002

Papua New Guinea's founding father, Sir Michael Somare, has withdrawn legal action over the country's elections, saying his new opposition coalition would secure government regardless of the legality of the poll extension.

The Australian Associated Press quotes Sir Michael as saying his seven party tie-up, which could see Sir Mekere Morauta ousted as prime minister, had secured more than 50 of the 55 seats needed to govern.

At a news conference in the capital, he said he was confident of once again forming government.

Sir Michael said he had withdrawn legal action which could have forced parliament to sit minus the MPs elected during the two-week extension to the poll.