13 Aug 2007

Sir Michael Somare tipped to be returned as PM in PNG today

10:39 am on 13 August 2007

Sir Michael Somare is expected to be returned for a second consecutive term as Papua New Guinea prime minister when parliament meets today.

It is the first sitting since the recent national elections.

The 71-year-old has said he is prepared to take the job for another three years before handing over to a successor to see out the five-year term.

The Governor-General Paulias Matane invited Sir Michael's National Alliance Party to form a coalition government after it won 27 seats.

The AAP news agency reports that theparty claimed it had more than the 55 seats required to take the government benches after attracting smaller parties and independents to join it in coalition.

Heavy security will be imposed around Parliament House today in case of possible protest action by elements unhappy with the outcome of any parliamentary vote.