Elevation of Nape as acting G-G creates uncertainty
Behind these eyes

Stunned parliament finds that Namah may be PM

Sources: Liam Fox/ABC and Tavurvur [Twitter]

THIS MORNING’S SITTING OF THE PNG parliament took a peculiar twist when both prime minister Peter O’Neill and contender Sir Michael Somare were declared not to be duly elected leaders of Papua New Guinea.

Parliament accepted yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling and reinstated Somare as prime minister before disqualifying him on the grounds that he had missed three sittings of parliament since January.

With Speaker Jeffrey Nape acting as Governor-General, Deputy Speaker Francis Marus then declared the prime minister’s office vacant and announced that a new PM will be elected tomorrow, forcing O’Neill aside.

This means that deputy prime minister Belden Namah may become acting prime minister, at least for the next 24 hours.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Peter Kranz

Liam Fox reports that O'Neill has accepted Marus' ruling, but has the numbers to be elected PM.

Somare is in Wewak. There are no MPs in Parliament for the 10 o'clock sitting, even though it's past 10 o'clock.

Fox: "To my knowledge no PNG Parliament has ever convened on time."

The Brecht/Weill Opera should now become a musical comedy.

Thinking of a song called "Somare - lon lon lon lon!" to the tune of "Domani" which contains the line "you are super duper bravissimo".


John Wali

Well, all I can say is that this can only happen in the "Land of the Unexpected"!

Harry Topham

Frank - I think Rafferty's rule prevails here - they are just making it up as they go along.

There is an old saying which I cannot remember completely which goes along the lines of "chaos reigns and ???"

Maybe the GG has gone to old Blighty to tell her majesty what's going on and seek her wise advice?

Would that be 'chaos reigns and panic numbs' - KJ

Phil Fitzpatrick

The question is Peter, will Namah let him back in?

Frank Martin

I thought that in preparation for the election the Governor General had issued the writs, declared all positions vacant and closed parliament.

Therefore the Supreme Court could not declare anyone to be prime minister or could the Parliament take any action.

Peter Kranz

Well I dunno. Martyn's only been out of the country for 10 days and all hell breaks loose.

Colin Huggins

What in God's name next? Why, given the political turmoil now happening in PNG, does the GG fly off for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?

Surely the PNG High Commissioner could be the PNG representative and it would save money.

This is really becoming a circus. The chairs of the Titanic could not have been re-arranged fast enough for who sits where as the ship sinks below the waters in the Atlantic.
Incredible, just so bizarre.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)