News World Peter O’Neill re-elected Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

Peter O’Neill re-elected Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

Peter O'Neill
Peter O'Neill (L) will serve as Prime Minister for a five-year term. Photo: ABC
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Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has secured a second term after a troubled election process that took almost six weeks.

Mr O’Neill mustered enough support on the floor of Parliament to secure the Prime Minister’s post after several days of coalition negotiations.

The election has been widely criticised because thousands of voters were excluded and there were glaring abuses of the electoral process.

Mr O’Neill still has to deal with an outstanding arrest warrant for corruption charges and widespread discontent, but said he was looking forward to forming government.

Not all of Papua New Guinea’s MPs were in the Parliament for the vote, as counting was continuing in some electorates.

Only 106 of 111 election writs made it back in time for the sitting of Parliament.

The vote was held despite the objections of senior legal figures who said the country’s electoral commissioner did not follow the law during the return of the election writs and by giving the invitation to Mr O’Neill to form government.

The proceedings also got off to a late and confusing start when two candidates, Nick Kuman and Dawa Lucas, both claimed to be the member-elect for one seat.

Both men refused to move when asked by parliamentary staff, leading to commotion in the chamber.

During the session, PNG’s National Court granted an order to stop both men from participating in Wednesday’s sitting, which further complicated matters.

The clerk of Parliament later announced Mr Kuman as the member-elect.