People’s Democratic Movement
Published 25th June, 2012
The People’s Democratic Movement or PDM was founded in 1985 by Paias Wingti after he left the Pangu Party.
In 1987 the party won 26 seats in their first electoral test, coming just one seat behind the then dominant Pangu party. In 1992 they dropped to 15 seats, but Wingti was able to form a coalition government and was prime minister from 1992 to 1994.
In 1997 the party fortunes declined some more to eight seats, but Wingti was replaced by Mekere Morauta who was prime minister from 1999 to 2002 as part of a coalition government.
In 2002 the party did better and won 13 of the 109 seats in the National Parliament, making them the second largest party, but the largest party, the National Alliance Party went on to form the government.
Before the 2007 general election Morauta lost the leadership of the party and left to form the Papua New Guinea Party. Paias Wingti took the leadership once more. This made little difference; in the 2007 general election the party dropped to just five seats but they did join Sir Michael Somare’s coalition government.