New PM named
Peter O’Neill has been announced as Papua New Guinea’s new Prime Minister following a vote of 70 to 24 in what is widely seen as a political coup.
The vote took place after government MPs joined forces with the Opposition and successfully moved a motion to have the prime minister’s office declared vacant. The move caught the acting Prime Minister, Sam Abal by surprise and he has argued that the appointment is illegal. Abal has led the country since April when ailing PM, Sir Michael Somare went to Singapore for heart surgery and his family later announced his retirement from politics.
A number of the main figures in the plot to overthrow the government have been rewarded with senior positions, including the former opposition leader, Belden Namah, who is now the deputy prime minister.
The full list of the new cabinet is expected before the weekend.