26 Jul 2007

National Alliance on target to win at least 20 seats in battle to govern PNG

3:42 pm on 26 July 2007

Rival political camps have been established in Lae and in Wewak in Papua New Guinea as two groups vie to become the government.

Half the 109 seats have now been declared and the ruling National Alliance is likely to get the first call from the Governor General to see if it can form a government.

The NA, headed by prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, has set up camp in Wewak in East Sepik and independents and MPs from other parties are flying there.

Our correspondent Alex Rheeney has more.

"55 is the number they will need. They have already got 14 declared and they are expecting to get at least 6 more seats which would bring them up to about 20. So they would need at least about 35 more. But they have already got an agreement in place with their coalition partners."

Meanwhile five party leaders in Lae have signed an agreement to establish a coalition that they say will include 13 parties and independents.