15 Mar 2012

Australia warns PNG not to delay June elections

1:13 pm on 15 March 2012

Australia's new Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has threatened sanctions against Papua New Guinea if the government delays the June elections.

PNG government MPs have been pushing for a delay claiming the Electoral Commission is not ready for the poll, a claim the Commission itself rejects.

Mr Carr says if the poll was put back Canberra would have to consider sanctions.

He says he's urging the government to see that the election goes ahead on time.

PNG's deputy prime minister, Belden Namah, has said the poll should be pushed back for 12 months to give the government more time to implement its policies.

He also says there's potential for fraud because the electoral roll is only 60 per cent complete, but the Commission says the figure is higher.

It also says it has another three months to complete the rolls.