13 May 2011

PNG government in chaos over National Alliance power struggle

1:33 pm on 13 May 2011

The wrestle for leadership of Papua New Guinea's ruling party, the National Allliance, has strained its relationship with its coalition partners.

This follows reports that the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's heart condition may prevent him from resuming the party's leadership.

Our correspondent Oseah Philemon says the party is divided on who should replace Sir Michael.

"This has thrown the whole government into chaos. So we don't know when they will agree on one single candidate. But the leader of the National Resources Party, Anderson Agiru, blasted the National Alliance for doing all this while Sir Michael Somare is still in his sick bed in hospital in Singapore. The National Alliance needs other parties to rule, it hasn't got the numbers, it's got only twenty-two or so members and it needs the other coalition partners. But the way they are going about jockeying around for leadership, trying to take over leadership from the Prime Minister who is very sick, that is not going down very well with the other coalition partners."

Oseah Philemon reporting