Papua New Guinea MPs have voted to declare a state of emergency in the nation’s capital after rogue police officers surrounded Parliament House. If adopted, the emergency rule would give increased powers to PNG’s police commissioner to arrest and detain. The leader of government business, Moses Maladina, put the motion yesterday at a special sitting of Parliament and it is expected to come into force today. The government also voted to reject the decision of three Supreme Court judges to reinstate Sir Michael Somare as the nation’s leader. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said cabinet would meet last night to prepare advice for Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio, who must approve the state of emergency. Mr O’Neill said the state of emergency would be extended to trouble spots such as the Southern Highlands and Hela province, site of a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas project.
”This has never happened in our country since the Sandline crisis of 1996,” Mr O’Neill told reporters, referring to the splinter group of police who surrounded Parliament House yesterday. The Sandline affair brought down the government of Sir Julius Chan after he used private military contractors to resolve the Bougainville dispute. ”These actions are of a criminal nature,” Mr O’Neill said. ”I want to stress here that we will do all our best so that we do not infringe on the rights of citizens. The movement of Papua New Guineans must be free and fair, so there will be no obstruction by the police in enforcing that [state of] emergency.”
Full Article: PNG calls state of emergency in capital.