18 Jan 2012

Rowdy scenes as Somare appears at Parliament

10:00 pm on 18 January 2012

There have been rowdy scenes in Papua New Guinea's Parliament a day after the Supreme Court was again asked to determine who is the country's legitimate prime minister.

An order by the court in December last year to reinstate Sir Michael Somare as prime minister began a constitutional crisis.

Sir Michael and several of his supporters appeared in the chamber on Wednesday and called on the deputy speaker to give him a seat.

He was brandishing the court orders for his reinstatement as leader and as an MP, the ABC reports.

But the deputy speaker said he stood by Parliament's decision to eject Sir Michael and told him to leave the chamber.

Supporters of Sir Michael's opponent, Peter O'Neill, shouted "Stranger" and "Get out" before Parliament was adjourned.

Despite the court order Mr O'Neill remains the effective prime minister with the support of the police, defence force, public service and most MPs.