After Dramatic Opening In Parliament, Peter O'Neill Returns As PNG Prime Minister

PNC coaltion secures 60 votes; Pomat elected to speaker's post

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 3, 2017) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill secured a second term in office after a 60-46 victory vote in Parliament yesterday.

The MP for Ialibu-Pangia was re-elected in the 10th Parliament. Mr O’Neill’s People’s National Congress Party had the biggest number of MPs in the National Election and was invited by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae last Friday to form government.

The PNC and its coalition partners had earlier secured the Speaker of Parliament when its nominee Manus Open MP Job Pomat was elected to the chair 60-46 in a secret ballot.

Mr O’Neill’s election followed but not without drama from the start of the session after 10am as the opposing group of The Alliance members delayed the session by at least two hours as they questioned parliamentary procedures and “strangers” in the chamber.

The 111-seat Parliament was without five members yesterday when the 106 declared members signed their oaths of office before the two elections.

The Alliance opposition was not present when Parliament resumed after Mr O’Neill’s election and swearing-in at Government after 4pm. Parliament has been adjourned to August 22 when members will officially be sworn in.

Mr O’Neill is expected to announce a caretaker Cabinet in the coming days.

He had been nominated by Rigo MP Sir Puka Temu and seconded by Hagen MP William Duma.

Major coalition partners were quick to congratulate Mr O’Neill.

People’s Progress Party leader Sir Julius Chan commended his honesty in admitting there were mistakes that must be rectified.

Sir Julius, Governor of New Ireland, said PPP, which he now leads, will work together with Mr O’Neill and other coalition partners for the next five years.

“The announcement by the Prime Minister is a big step forward to decentralising the power and making it known to the PNG people, we know there are problems and we are committed to solving those problems, we need to solve the economy situation to restore confidence in our people,” Sir Julius said.

United Resource Party leader William Duma also congratulated Prime Minister O’Neill for his leadership and tireless effort in putting together a team to govern and lead the country to the best of his ability.

“Our PM is blessed with so many leaders around him he has the support of the a team made up of former deputy Prime Ministers and Prime Ministers and a experience ministry, how can we go wrong?” Mr Duma said.

“With PNG a land that has so many languages, is rugged and has so many complicated factors, our duly elected Prime Minister has been able to put together a team to govern and lead the country to the best of his ability,” he said.

PNG Post-Courier
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