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PNG Prime Minister O'Neill tenders formal resignation

May 29, 2019 3:39 pm

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill, has ended days of uncertainty by formally announcing his resignation on the floor of parliament

Mr O’Neill told parliament a short time ago he had tendered his resignation to the Governor-General this morning.

He has been in the role since 2011, but lost his strong majority in parliament after mass defections from his government in the past month.

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Mr O’Neill’s formal resignation today came as he was facing a likely confidence vote brought by the opposition after he had appeared to backtrack on an earlier commitment to step down this week.

Leading opposition MPs, today praised the prime minister for listening to the people by 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. Today you showed that you still have the heart to listen to the call and cry of our people,” said opposition MP James Marape.

Peter O’Neill’s resignation paves the way for a parliamentary vote for a new prime minister, which the speaker Job Pomat announced will take place tomorrow when parliament resumes.

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