PNG in constitutional chaos as O'Neill clings to minority rule
O'Neill forced to resign. Marape to be next prime minister

O’Neill goes – not a trick this time, he saw the writing on the wall

Last supper
Peter O'Neill has a final meal with his closest supporters after he resigned his position of prime minister in Port Moresby today


BRISBANE - Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O'Neill resigned this morning with a parliamentary vote for a new leader to be held tomorrow.

O’Neill told parliament today he had tendered his resignation to the governor-general but he will remain prime minister until a new prime minister is elected and sworn in.

O’Neill told parliament he delivered his letter of resignation to governor-general Sir Robert Dadae at 9.45am.

Left with no room to move, he said “we can deal with this matter once and for all. Once and for all.”

The resignation came after some futile attempts to save his leadership had failed and it became clear a confidence vote brought by a newly buoyant opposition would succeed.

On Monday O’Neill had backtracked on an earlier commitment to step down in order to buy time.

Relieved opposition MPs praised O’Neill for listening to the people and stepping down to allow new leadership.

“By your resignation today, you beat me and beat many of us and outclassing many of us to the view some of us have of you that you are power hungry,” said opposition MP James Marape, engaging in some celebratory hyperbole.

“Today you showed that you still have the heart to listen to the call and cry of our people.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for his reaction to O’Neill’s earlier announcement that he would stand down.

Fomer PNG prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, said Morrison’s praise of O’Neill was inappropriate, unhelpful and discourteous.

He claimed it echoed how the Australian government interfered in PNG’s 2017 election by supporting O’Neill.

Meanwhile, former attorney general Sir Arnold Amet explained that while it may be commonly perceived that the office of the prime minister is now vacant, the constitutional process allows that O'Neill continues in the office as a precautionary measure.

It is likely that a new prime minister will take office in Papua New Guinea tomorrow.


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

Will Self

The last supper.

Arthur Williams

Who is paying for these 100 MPs to camp in posh hotels for weeks.

Is there a legitimate budget item allocation?

I thought that under the leadership code, housing was built into salaries and allowances so new accommodation payments cannot be charged to the government.

Oh, I forgot they are double dipping to stop misuse of government funds.

Lindsay F Bond

Hopes of a nation sail, if not on a single lakatoi then on a fleet, heeding a constituted map with prospect of an invigoratingly new leader and, indeed, leaderships.

Away from the froth of the wake.

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.)