Australia supports O'Neill's election timeline

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has told the crowd that last week's vote in Parliament has no power and the election will not be deferred. [ABC]
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Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has told the crowd that last week's vote in Parliament has no power and the election will not be deferred. [ABC]

Campbell Cooney, Pacific correspondent

Last Updated: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 14:40:00 +1000

Australia's parliamentary secretary for Pacific Affairs Richard Marles says despite another call to delay PNG's elections for six months, his government is confident they will go as scheduled in the middle of the year.

On Wednesday PNG's parliamentary speaker Jeffrey Nape said a new vote would have to go ahead in parliament to rescind parliament's decision to delay the election by six months.

But Mr Marles told a conference on PNG's future in the Australian city of Geelong that Australia is supporting the position of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, who says there will not be a six month delay.

"We take considerable heart from the statements that have been made by the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, and the electoral commissioner Andrew Trawen," Mr Marles said.

While the topic was expected to be debate in PNG's parliament today, that debate has been delayed, with a lack of MP's leading to the house being put into recess until next week.

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