17 Mar 2012

PNG's deputy PM changes his mind, wanting polls to now go ahead

9:37 am on 17 March 2012

Papua New Guinea's deputy prime minister has reversed his position on the general election, saying the poll will go ahead as scheduled.

Belden Namah inflamed speculation of a delayed poll two weeks ago when he publicly called on prime minister Peter O'Neill to delay the poll for 12 months to install anti-fraud election technology and because the electoral roll was only 60 per cent complete.

Australian foreign minister, Bob Carr, on Wednesday had threatened sanctions against PNG if it tried to delay the poll.

Mr Namah told the National Newspaper they want the election to proceed as scheduled.

He added he has no powers to defer the election.

AAP understands Mr Namah held a media conference in Port Moresby on Thursday, but did not invite foreign media.

Mr Namah also called on Australia to butt out of the PNG government's running of the country.

He said Australia should mind its own affairs and not continue to suppress and bully us.