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PORT MORESBY (July 9, 1997 - PACNEWS)---There are about two weeks to go before the formation of Papua New Guinea's new government takes place, and many political parties are now lobbying with each other to form the sixth national government.

A number of contenders who have already shown interest in the top post of Prime Minister include former Prime Minister and Governor of East Sepik Sir Michael Somare, Deputy Prime Minister and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta, Rabaul Open Member Sir John Kaputin, and National Capital District Governor and Peoples National Congress Party leader Bill Skate.

But, to succeed, these leaders will need the support of Independent MP's, who make up almost a third of the 109-member Parliament.

The Peoples Progress Party of former Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan, who lost his bid for re-election to Parliament, is on top with 13 members. The Peoples Democratic Movement Party is second with ten.. Pangu Party, the Somare-led National Alliance, and the People's Action Party each have seven members, while Bill Skates' Peoples National Congress has six. Bougainville Regional MP John Momis' Melanesian Alliance party has four members.

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