BY EOIN BLACKWELL
PETER O'NEILL HAS VOWED to stand again for Papua New Guinea's prime ministership tomorrow after the deputy speaker unexpectedly threw the position open.
And Belden Namah says he will not stand against him.
Deputy Speaker Francis Marus opened today’s special sitting of parliament saying the Supreme Court had declared Sir Michael Somare was the legitimate prime minister.
But he said Sir Michael, who was ousted as leader last August, couldn't serve in the position because he had been disqualified from parliament for missing three consecutive sittings.
Mr O'Neill challenged Sir Michael's supporters, many of whom have boycotted parliament, to turn up in numbers tomorrow and compete for the top job.
"Parliament has decided in its wisdom that we will recognise the court's decision today, and I acknowledge there is a vacancy in the office of prime minister," Mr O'Neill told reporters.
"I urge the Somare faction: let us end this once and for all.
"I urge him, take his faction to parliament so they can also have an opportunity to nominate a candidate."
Mr O'Neill's deputy, Belden Namah, said the government would nominate Mr O'Neill.
"Tomorrow will be fair game, fair play, like on the rugby field," he said.
"We shall put all questions on the prime ministership to rest.
"I will nominate Peter O'Neill to be the prime minister of this country," he said.