Papua New Guinea’s Parliament elects James Marape as new Prime Minister


Papua New Guinea has a new Prime Minister, James Marape, and a caretaker cabinet in a new coalition government fronted by the Pangu Party. Peter O’Neill’s People’s National Congress party will remain a partner in the new government.

Parliament voting overwhelmingly for James Marape this morning.

James Marape was this morning elected PNG’s Prime Minister after the resignation yesterday of Peter O’Neill, who had led PNG since 2011.

James Marape MP

Marape, whose resignation as Finance Minister back in April was catalyst for Opposition moves against Peter O’Neill, is the member for the Tari-Pori Open electorate in Hela Province, representing the People’s National Congress Party.

He won the vote in Parliament this morning by an overwhelming majority of MPs over the other nominee, Sir Mekere Morauta, 101 votes to 8. He is the eighth man to be elected Prime Minister since PNG’s independence in 1975.

After being sworn in by PNG’s Governor-General, Marape told a media conference that he would be part of the Pangu Party, which would lead a coalition that included the People’s National Congress, the party of former Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.

‘I don’t have all the answers. I am just one man. But I will do my best to mobilise talent,’ he said.

He said he expected to make ministerial appointments quickly, saying he expected ‘a few more visits tomorrow’ to Government House.

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Responding to a question regarding the recently-signed gas agreement for the Total-led Papua LNG project, which he had previously criticised, he said ‘we are not here to break legally-binding agreements.’

Marape gave his maiden address to Parliament last week and outlined his aspirations for the country.


Caretaker cabinet

James Marape – Prime Minister, Public Service and Public Enterprises and State Investments

Solan Mirisim – Foreign Affairs, Defence, Commerce and Industry, Civil Aviation, Fisheries and Forest

Richard Maru – Finance, Petroleum and Energy, Inter-Government Relations and Community Development

Sam Basil – National Planning, Health, Housing, Communication and Information Technology and Higher Education

Johnson Tuke – Mining, Transport, Culture and Tourism, Correctional Services and Environment, Conservation and Climate Change

Steven Davis – Justice and Attorney General, Labour and Industrial Relations, Agriculture and livestock and Lands and Physical Planning

Michael Nali – Works, Bougainville Affairs and Immigration and Border Security

Charles Abel – Treasury, Education, Police


  1. Young and Energetic PM is for an Energetic movement and change so my advise to you is that take up the positive and the negative challenges coming your way and move the country forward in terms of development basis because PNG is waiting to see development and not the rumors of development. I always believe in the saying which says; Aspire to Inspire before you Expire. Therefore “You can not change the past but you can change the Future”, so Do Not dig back the past but move forward with plans and dreams you have for our country Papua New Guinea.

  2. To lead the nation to new heights, the new Pm needs to do three things. 1.Know where the nation is. eg mounting debt, rampant corruption, fall of basic services like health etc. 2. Envision and imagine the future this nation can be. It would be good to vision 2010. 3.What we need to get there. This three acts will turn the nation around to focus on a new exciting vision and work towards achieving it.

  3. Nelson Livai says

    We changed Prime Minister but we don’t change the Government. If our young Prime minister is wise enough then don’t give any ministerial positions to those who were in the previous government. The country is going backwards with people crying for services to be delivered to the rural people. We had the independence in 1975 but our people still struggle to cope up with the high living standards. The services that people did not reach the rural people. Please our good young elected leader trust members by delegating ministerial jobs.
    The people of this rich nation l want changes. Our country is rich in everything but still we are very poor. Poverty is the big issue in this country.

  4. Tony Dibul says

    Whilst the incumbent PM Mirape may be young as we would all agree he is abundantly blessed with the zeal and determination to not only get things done but done correctly and properly for purposes intended. Above all our new and the 8th Prime Minister is the most God fearing of those we had. Of all that were called I am inclined to say he is the chosen to lead this great nation of Papua New Guinea to “as it is in heaven”

  5. This is nothing really brand new. The Opposition side is still in opposition. We really need a brand government, not this recycled type of government.
    The Wise leaders are still in the opposition. Hope we are heading the right direction.

  6. Willie Bemabua says

    Thanks and congratulations to newly appointed PM, James Marape with his first speed to remove all Asians out of our country. I personally support his remarks and awaiting with high appreciation.The leaders agitated the nation to drawn of a new era and drawing a ” look North Policy Agreement” in 1991. Can he investigate that withdraw that Agreement and apprehend those involved. I have enough evidence to support.

  7. Jason Joseph (JJ Angra) says

    Time is moving and every things are moving. thanks Peter O’Neill for the terms you served and services you implemented and provided.
    Cheers to our newly elected PM James Marape. Make sure you fulfill your promises to your people.
    1. Decreasing taxes
    2. Deport all Asians illegally doing businesses in PNG.
    3. Ban Chinese Products in PNG.

  8. Lavinia Lexian says

    Thankyou Peter O’Neill for your time as being the Prime Minister. Thankyou for all the developments that you have brought and made. God will surely continue to guide you and bless you exceedingly. All your effort and hardwork that you have put in the good of PNG have not been forgotten by us, citizens of Papua New Guinea. Once again thankyou for you have played a great part in the government team as PM. Wish you all the best in the years to come. And congrats to our new PM, James Marape.

  9. Finally! Thank you Peter O’Neil for governing our country since 2011 during your regime and for stepping down and passing the position to the next PM James Marape.By now i hope every citizen is satisfied and is looking forward to working our new PM. Since Marape is the Member for Tari-Pori Open in Hela province, where the Two major Natural resource project are located in(PNG LNG and the Mt.Kera Gold projects). I hope you bear in mind that Everyone is looking up to you now with high hopes for development and that you will not misuse our people’s hope and trust once in the office.Please let us(the people and government) work together from now on to get rid of the mentality of Being powerful,wealthy and famous and instead focus on solving the issues of poverty,health and education and of course with God’s help.Wish you all the best and we the people of PNG are hoping for the best to come out from your government.

  10. Jessy Dopen says

    Goodness gracious it is a scary news. He is too young this is not a soccer club he will be coaching, he will lead PNG into the next millennium I hope he does not sink the ship. We can change the field, maybe the goal posts but the players are the same. My wish is that he completely over hauls the governance system of this country so at least for once we can govern ourselves and be really sovereign and free from outside manipulations and advice.

    • Lucy B says

      Better young than recycling old corrupt singled out individuals who have no intention of putting the interests of PNGans first. If PM Marape is endowed with character qualities like: leadership, integrity, loyalty, fair and just, emotional intelligence, just to name a few; I believe with his great charisma and above all God’s sovereign wisdom, he can make asperational decisions that benefit the whole nation.

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