22 Dec 2011

Chan criticises new PNG age limit for PM

2:53 pm on 22 December 2011

A senior member of the Papua New Guinea parliament has criticised the O'Neill government over an amendment restricting the age of the country's leader.

The O'Neill administration passed an amendment to the Prime Minister's Act which restricts the age limit of a Prime Minister to 72.

This comes less than two weeks after the Supreme Court reinstated 75-year-old Sir Michael Somare as prime minister.

Our correspondent, Oseah Philemon, says Sir Julius Chan, who has been Prime Minister twice, has broken with the O'Neill camp, of which he is part.

"Sir Michael is over 75 years old, so this act is basically to stop him becoming Prime Minister. Our former Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan said the law was rushed and it was wrong, and it was done in panic to derail the due process in the constitution."

Oseah Philemon says Peter O'Neill is using the numbers he has in parliament to get back at his political opponents.