No end in sight for PNG student boycotts

5:29 am on 23 May 2016
Students at the University of Papua New Guinea have been boycotting classes in protest at the Prime Minister refusing to stand down.

Students at the University of Papua New Guinea have been boycotting classes in protest at the Prime Minister refusing to stand down. Photo: Supplied / UPNG4PNG

Students in Papua New Guinea who have been boycotting classes for three weeks are pondering their next move after the Prime Minister ignored their ultimatum to step down.

Peter O'Neill has not acceded to the demands of students at the University of PNG, who are calling on him to resign over a major fraud case he is implicated in.

Police fraud squad officers had secured an arrest warrant for Mr O'Neill over the matter two years ago, but his lawyers have launched a series of challenges which are yet to be finalised in court.

A spokesperson for the university's student representative council, Gerald Tulu Manu-Peni, said the students were pondering their next move, which could include a mass withdrawal from courses.

"Student leaders have agreed, when the ultimatum lapsed, they have consulted their provincial and regional groups and all have come to a resolution that we will continue on with the indefinite boycott for the coming week," said Mr Manu-Peni.

But despite the growing pressure on Mr O'Neill, he still retains the support of his government MPs.