23 Jul 2002

National Alliance still leads Papua New Guinea election

5:27 am on 23 July 2002

As Papua New Guinea's election enters its sixth week, the count shows Sir Michael

Somare's National Alliance in the lead, with 15 of the 80 seats declared.

A further 20 parties have won a total of 52 seats while 13 independent candidates have won seats.

Sir Michael's party is confident of being able to form the next government.

Meanwhile, one of the winners in Port Moresby, former prime minister, Bill Skate, says current prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, must accept defeat and resign.

Mr Skate says the people have voted for a change of leadership by voting out at least fourteen of Sir Mekere's ministers.