22 May 2012

PNG's Arthur Somare says court decision restores integrity of constitution

11:10 am on 22 May 2012

Papua New Guinea MP Arthur Somare says the integrity of the constitution has been restored with the Supreme Court reiterating its December ruling that his father, Sir Michael Somare, is the country's legitimate leader.

Rival prime minister Peter O'Neill has recalled parliament for a special sitting today following the Supreme Court decision.

Mr O'Neill's coalition controversially removed Sir Michael in August last year, sparking a constitutional crisis.

Mr O'Neill has said the special sitting is to allow Parliament to officially repudiate the Court's decision, which he calls 'judicial corruption'.

Arthur Somare says he hopes there are no further attempts to delay next month's election but Mr O'Neill has been facing significant pressure from within his coalition to do so.

He says it's important that politicians seek the people's backing.

"This is all about the constitution, it is not necessarily about Sir Michael the person, but the integrity of the constitution has been restored now as a consequence of this court decision, and the correct place to assert that you have the mandate of the people is through a general election."