14 Dec 2011

PNG sees double in political stalemate

10:56 pm on 14 December 2011

The situation in Papua New Guinea is becoming increasingly confusing and there is no end to the political stalemate in sight.

In the latest development on Wednesday, Peter O'Neill has been sworn in as prime minister by the man he has designated as the interim governor-general, the ABC reports.

Mr O'Neill earlier announced that he was suspending governor-general Sir Michael Ogio because he had failed to live up to his responsibilities.

Speaker Geoffrey Nape then said he was the acting governor-general and swore in Mr O'Neill as the country's prime minister and several MPs as ministers.

It is unclear what if any effect this will have on his rival Sir Michael Somare.

On Wednesday morning, Sir Michael Ogio, who has been the governor-general since the start of the year, swore in 19 members of Sir Michael Somare's cabinet.

The country now has two prime ministers, two cabinets, two governors-general and two police commissioners.