13 Aug 2007

PNG parliament to choose new speaker and PM

1:44 pm on 13 August 2007

Heavy security is in place around the Papua New Guinea parliament for the expected re-election of Sir Michael Somare as prime minister for a second consecutive term.

Dozens of armed police, some with tear gas launchers, patrolled entrance roads to the Parliament and checked visitors arriving to attend today's vote by MPs.

The parliament will vote for a speaker first then under his chairmanship vote for prime minister.

Sir Michael's National Alliance Party won 27 seats and claims to have more than 80 MPs on its side in the 109-member parliament after clinching deals with smaller parties and independents.