Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill, could face a vote of no-confidence today in parliament. Serving his eighth year
Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill, could face a vote of no-confidence today in parliament.
Serving his eighth year as PM, his government has faced a number of high-profile political defections, which include the ministers of finance, defence, health and forestry. A number of MPs and governors have stepped down as well, accusing O’Niell of micromanaging and abusing his office to further his personal interests. Outrage has built following the inking of a major liquified natural gas (LNG) deal between PNG and French gas giant Total, which critics say does not benefit local communities and needs to be revised.
For the vote to pass and O’Neill to be ousted, his opponents would need the support of 56 of the 111 members of parliament. Though the situation on the ground is still extremely fluid, the PM’s challengers are expected to be about four votes short. If O’Neill were to be ousted, it is likely that former Finance Minister James Marape of the resource-rich province, Hela, would attempt to replace him as PM. In this case, the $13 billion deal, which would double the country’s LNG exports, would likely be revisited or scrapped altogether.
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