Papua New Guinea Parliament resumes following resignation of PM O’Neill

Papua New Guinea’s parliament will reconvene today in Port Moresby, less than a month after the resignation of Prime Minister

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Photo: Reuters

Papua New Guinea’s parliament will reconvene today in Port Moresby, less than a month after the resignation of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

James Marape was elected his successor on May 30 after Mr O’Neill resigned citing a lack of support from those within his party and a looming vote of no confidence.

Mr Marape, a former finance minister, has promised to review the country’s mining and resource legislation. His proposals for new legislation will aim to increase state resource revenues and redistribute these revenues to struggling rural communities.

Today 40% of Papua New Guinea’s eight million people live below the poverty line. Increasing taxes on earnings from companies such as Total and ExxonMobil will likely be met with popular approval as the 87% of the country that lives in rural areas are desperate for improvements to struggling rural infrastructure.

However, note that Mr Marape’s agenda will likely be met with pushback from foreign resource extraction firms, which will disapprove of higher corporate taxes. China too will likely disapprove of the new measures, as Papua New Guinea is heavily indebted to Beijing and is eager to have the country divert its natural resource profits to repaying its dues.

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