11 Apr 2012

More political turmoil in PNG after Speaker says election deferral still stands

4:12 pm on 11 April 2012

The Speaker of the Papua New Guinea Parliament, Jeffrey Nape, has declared that prime minister Peter O'Neill acted illegally when he announced elections would go ahead as scheduled despite the passing of a law last week deferring the poll by six months.

Mr O'Neill told a large crowd protesting over the deferral in Port Moresby on Tuesday, that Cabinet had decided elections would go ahead on time but that the issuing of writs would be delayed 3 weeks.

As our correspondent Titi Gabi reports when Parliament resumed today Mr Nape told MPs any change to the new law needs a successful vote in the chamber.

"Well what he has told Parliament is that if they wanted to make any changes to the six months deferral originally, they would have to come back to the chamber and take a vote and see if they would muster the majority to effect it. Basically what he is saying is the six months deferral still stands until you can change that with your numbers in the chamber."

Titi Gabi in Port Moresby.

Parliament was adjourned after the morning session and is due to resume on Thursday morning.