28 May 2012

PNG governor-general steers clear of political dispute

6:07 am on 28 May 2012

Papua New Guinea's governor-general will not sign any documents until a government is formed after the election.

A senior member of the office of Governor-General, Sir Michael Ogio, says the head of state has refused to sign any documents presented by prime minister Peter O'Neill or from his rival for the top job, Sir Michael Somare.

The spokesman says the governor-general also refused to sign an instrument recalling parliament for a special sitting last week in which the government voted for a state of emergency in three provinces including the capital, Port Moresby.

The spokesman says the governor-general is seeking legal advice.

A spokesman for Mr O'Neill said parliament had been convened only after advice had been sought from the governor-general.

Sir Michael Somare has issued a statement urging the nation's armed forces not to take any more action, saying a gazette approving parliament's emergency is illegal.