O’Neill goes – not a trick this time, he saw the writing on the wall
Yesterday’s political change shows revolution has just begun

O'Neill forced to resign. Marape to be next prime minister

James Marape (2)
This morning James Marape is likely to become the next prime minister of Papua New Guinea


PORT MORESBY - Today Prime Minister Peter O'Neill was forced to resign, announcing his resignation on the floor of Parliament.

Was it expected?

Short answer is yes.

I had expected the resignation to be next Thursday 6 June, the date the notice of motion was to be tabled and voted on.


Having no other option, and to avoid the humiliation of being voted out of office, I expected O'Neill would instead resign in an effort to dislodge the opposition's notice of motion.

Following O’Neill’s announcement, James Marape moved his 27 members from parliament to set up camp at the Grand Papua Hotel with the likes of Peter Ipatas and his Peoples Party.

While many around the country are feeling distressed following publication of the pictures of Marape seen standing with O'Neill, he has his own camp and will most likely be the only nominee today.

So what now?

Parliament will reconvene 10am today and James Marape will be nominated and elected as the next prime minister of Papua New Guinea.

What about Peter O'Neill?

Now that he has been dislodged from the office of prime minister he can expect to face criminal prosecution.

Interesting times ahead....


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Paul Oates

In some countries, being overtaken in high office would necessitate a fast escape with all you can carry to a friendly country where you can live out your life in luxury.

In PNG however, her culture can be and is often far more forgiving. Highlands culture may well dictate a more relaxed approach once the dust settles.

One possibility would be a huge feast where both the apparently recently defeated and the apparent victors get together and bestow wonderful congratulatory speeches and honours upon each other.

What we have just witnessed, irrespective of the role of social media, is a classic battle for the prestige and respect of being the village Big Man in just a somewhat bigger village.

If culture has anything to do with the results, a token handout will now occur as an example or gesture to those supporters while the real decisions are made behind closed doors.

Those reformers who actually want a change in direction will need to ensure they are included in all discussions and decisions at the top. How they can do that is the first real question that may decide if a real change is to happen?

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