THE 9TH PARLIAMENT SITTING TODAY ELECTED SOUTHERN HIGHLANDER PETER O'NEILL AS THE NEW PRIME MINISTER BEATING NAMAH 94-12
IALIBU Pangia MP and PNC leader Peter O’Neill was unanimously elected Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea in a one-sided move that stunned Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah this afternoon. O’Neill was elected by 94 MPs while 12 confused MPs remained with a visibly downtrodden Namah.
Newly-elected Speaker Theo Zurenuoc asked for nominations for the top post immediately after swearing in highlands governors Paias Wingti and Peter Ipatas who signed their oath of office in his presence. The two governors were declared late yesterday and were present in the chambers for the formation of government.
Tari-Pori MP James Marape nominated his PNC leader O’Neill for Prime Minister and was seconded by Tewai-Siassi MP Mao Zeming. Alotau MP Charles Abel closed the motion. The Speaker did not seek further nominations but asked MPs on the floor to move to the right if they supported O’Neill’s candidacy.
During this time a faction led by PNC defector Lauta Atoi who earlier teamed with Namah, Morobe Governor Kelly Naru and Oro Governor Garry Juffa moved from Namah’s side to vote for O’Neill.
The Prime Minister-elect was whisked away to the Government House to be officially sworn in by Governor General Sir Michael Ogio. After the swearing in, Mr O’Neill will return to Parliament and address MPs and the nation.