LIAM FOX | ABC PNG Correspondent
BREAKING NEWS - The National Court has just refused the application filed by Sam Basil. Parliament will now go ahead and convene its first sitting, swearing in new members and electing a Speaker - KJ
THE NATIONAL COURT in Papua New Guinea is due to decide whether to prevent the country's parliament from convening to elect a prime minister.
Parliament is due to sit this morning for the first time after the general election so MPs can elect a prime minister.
But two politicians have asked the National Court to prevent the sitting because votes are still being the counted in three seats.
Their lawyer argued it would be undemocratic for parliament to sit without every MP present.
Lawyers for the state and for Peter O'Neill said the constitution only requires a majority of seats to be declared before parliament is convened.
Judge Colin Makail is due to hand down its decision just 90 minutes before parliament is scheduled to start.
Peter O'Neill and around 80 newly-elected MPs have arrived in Port Moresby after spending most of the week in Alotau shoring up support ahead of the vote.
O'Neill has been invited by the governor-general to form government after his PNC party won 27 votes in the general election.
He expects to be returned as prime minister after forming a coalition with several parties, including that of his former nemesis Sir Michael Somare, and some independent MPs.
He says it's unfortunate not all MPs can be present for today's vote.
"Unfortunately that is the case, but you must realise that we've been having these elections for the past three months," he said.
"We started in April, now we're in August. It's unfair to the seven million people that we drag this issue out forever."
Among those launching the challenge is Sam Basil, deputy leader of Belden Namah's PNG Party.
Despite joining forces to throw Sir Michael Somare out of prime minister's office a year ago, relations between Namah and O'Neill have soured.
Namah is urging MPs to desert O'Neill's camp and join his push to form government.
The National Capital District, which takes in Port Moresby and its surrounds, is one of the three seats in which counting is continuing.
Incumbent Governor, Powes Parkop, is in the lead and says it will be a shame if PNG's capital is not represented in Parliament.
"I'm disappointed, but I can't help it now...the process has to go ahead," he said.
Meanwhile, the PNG Defence Force Commander has taken the unusual step of holding a press-conference to dispel a rumour about a military coup was imminent.
Brigadier General Francis Agwi says the rumour, sent around by text message and email, is rubbish.
"This is not true," he said. "Whoever has started this email has tarnished the good name of the PNGDF."