27 May 2012

PNG's Peter O'Neill government yet to reveal details of states of emergency call

3:41 pm on 27 May 2012

The Papua New Guinea parliament is expected to meet again on Tuesday as it seeks to impose states of emergency at several locations around the country, including in the capital, Port Moresby.

It voted on Friday to impose the states of emergency but final approval has to come from the governor general Sir Michael Ogio.

What the emergency laws will allow is yet to be made public but it is thought it will bring the Defence Force into use and give both police and soldiers greater powers.

The motion also calls for states of emergency to be declared in Southern Highlands and in newly created Hela, where there have been ongoing concerns about the threat to the huge liquified natural gas project posed by disputes with landowners.

Our correspondent, Titi Gabi, says it is unclear why such measures are seen as necessary in the capital.

"But they used that storming of the court house as one of the reasons for a state of emergency in Port Moresby, as well as the ongoing rift within the police."

Titi Gabi.

The country's rival prime minister Sir Michael Somare says the state of emergency call is illegal because parliament was not authorised to sit.