Papua New Guinea's new PM sworn in after election

Papua New Guinea's new PM sworn in after election

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, addresses the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2021, at the UN headquarters. Peter FOLEY James Marape was sworn in as the prime minister of Papua New Guinea on Tuesday after lawmakers in the new parliament returned him unopposed to the post.

The election in PNG began on July 4 and ended on July 22, but counting was extended until Monday because of special circumstances, including security issues, attacks on ballot boxes and logistical challenges, according to the electoral commission.

The election in the Pacific nation is among the most challenging due to difficult terrain, extreme weather, poor transport infrastructure, and linguistic and cultural diversity.

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International election observers said that the national election was plagued by violence, delays, fraud allegations and large numbers of voters missing from the electoral roll.

By Tuesday, 105 out of 118 seats had been declared as a result of the deadline for the Parliament to sit. There were two women elected.

Marape, the leader of the Pangu Party who clinched 36 seats, won 97 votes on the floor of parliament to become prime minister, and will form a coalition government with over a dozen minor parties and independents.

Marape, who became prime minister in 2019, said the coalition had a collective mandate and called for the nation to unite.

Media reported about 50 election-related deaths this year, down from 204 deaths documented in the 2017 election.