O’Neill confirmed as Prime Minister
In a sign that the political process is stabilising in Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill, the leader of the largest party after the recent general election was endorsed as Prime Minister today.
O’Neill won the backing of 94 of the 111 members of the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea. He also won the endorsement of Sir Michael Somare, a political rival after O’Neill took the premiers role from Somare last year. O’Neill was supported by two more former prime ministers Paias Wingti and Julius Chan which should add to the stability of the incoming government.
The new Prime Minister will now form his Cabinet and top of the agenda will be handling the increased investment in the country as new oil reserves are found.
The final results of the elections, which started on 23rd June, gave O’Neill’s People’s National Congress Party (PNC) 27 of the 111 seats and 25% of the vote. Around half of the previous members of parliament failed to retain their seats.