2 Mar 2011

Former PNG PM says Somare not above law

12:03 pm on 2 March 2011

Former Papua New Guinea leader, Sir Julius Chan, says the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, has been automatically removed from duties by the establishment of a leadership tribunal into his financial affairs.

Sir Michael continues in office despite the tribunal being set up to look into claims Sir Michael's financial statements, dating back many years, were incomplete.

The National newspaper reports Sir Julius, the governor of New Ireland and a former prime minister, saying the establishment of a tribunal automatically bars Sir Michael from performing duties.

Sir Julius says once the prime minister was referred and a leadership tribunal established, he is automatically prohibited from performing duties as the prime minister, minister and even as a member of parliament.

He says Sir Michael should not even attend parliament meetings.

Sir Julius says no one, however great, rich or powerful, can defy the law of the land.

He says the prime minister must act in reverence to the laws he made himself.