Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini
Independent State of Papua New Guinea

Commonwealth realm
Flag of Papua New Guinea Emblem of Papua New Guinea
Unity in diversity
O Arise, All You Sons
Map of Papua New Guinea
RegionNew Guinea
CapitalPort Moresby
Government Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
- From 1975Elizabeth II
- 1975-2010Sir John Douglas Guise
- From 2010Sir Tore Lokoloko
- From 0Sir Kingsford Dibela
- From 0Sir Ignatius Kilage
- From 0Sir Vincent Serei Eri
- From 0Sir Wiwa Korowi
Prime Minister
- 1975-1980Michael Thomas Somare
- 1980-1982Sir Julius Chan
- 1982-1985Michael Thomas Somare
- 1985-1988Paias Wingti
- 1988-1992Rabbie Namaliu
- 1992-1994Paias Wingti
Legislature Parliament
September 16, 1975Independence
Commonwealth accessionSeptember 16, 1975
Area462,840 km²
- 20096,732,000
GDP2009 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 14.5 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 2,166
CurrencyPapua New Guinean kina
Flag of Australia Papua and New Guinea

The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is a constitutional monarchy in Oceania. It is also one of the Commonwealth realms.


In 1949, the Papua and New Guinea Act confirmed the administrative union of New Guinea and Papua under the title of 'The Territory of Papua and New Guinea' and placed it under the international trusteeship system. The Act provided for a Legislative Council (established in 1951), a judicial organisation, a public service, and a system of local government. The first House of Assembly, which replaced the Legislative Council in 1963, opened on 8 June 1964. In 1972, the name of the territory was changed to Papua New Guinea and elections saw the formation of a ministry headed by Chief Minister Michael Somare, who pledged to lead the country to self-government and then to independence. Independence from Australia was proclaimed in 1975, and Somare became the first Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.[1]


Papua New Guinea is a constitutional monarchy. The Head of State is HM Queen Elizabeth II, represented in Papua New Guinea by a Governor-General. The Governor-General is elected directly by Members of the National Parliament and performs mainly ceremonial functions.

Papua New Guinea has three levels of government - national, provincial and local. The National Parliament is a 109-member unicameral legislature elected for five-year terms by universal suffrage. The Prime Minister is appointed and dismissed by the Governor-General on the proposal of Parliament. The Cabinet – known as the National Executive Council or NSC – is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Members of Parliament are elected from the provinces, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the National Capital District. Parliament is made up of 89 single-member electorates and 20 regional electorates. The regional electorates correspond with Papua New Guinea's provinces and the National Capital District – members from these electorates also serve as the provincial Governors. Each province is responsible for its own provincial assembly and administration.

The Supreme Court, National Court, and local and village courts form the independent justice system.[1]


Historically, there has been a high turn-over of parliamentarians at general elections in Papua New Guinea. In 2002, for example, around 80 per cent of sitting members lost their seats. Up to and including the June 2002 general election, members of parliament were elected on a first-past-the-post basis, and they frequently won with less than 15 per cent of the vote. After the 2002 election a system of limited preferential voting was introduced, under which voters are required to list a first, second and third preference.

To date, no single party has won enough seats to form a government in its own right; all governments have been coalitions. The main parties include the National Alliance (NA), PNG Party, People's Action Party (PAP), People's Democratic Movement (PDM), PANGU Pati, United Resources Party (URP), People's National Congress (PNC), People's Progress Party (PPP), New Generation Party (NG) and the Rural Development Party (RDP).

The Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) or 'Integrity Law', was enacted by the Morauta Government in 2001, with the aim of strengthening political parties and the executive government in PNG. The OLIPPAC included regulations on the formation, composition and funding of parties; limitations on how MPs could vote on a motion of no-confidence against the executive; changes to the rules on the formation of government, defections from political parties and offences for breaking the law; and restrictions on independent MPs. Sections of the OLIPPAC were declared unconstitutional by Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court in July 2010.

PNG governments are protected by the Constitution from no-confidence motions for the first 18 months of a five-year term. Once the 18-month moratorium expires, a successful no-confidence motion results in an alternative Prime Minister (nominated in the no-confidence motion) being able to form a new government without the need for a national election, unless the no-confidence motion occurs during the last twelve months of a five-year term in which case a national election must be held. With the exception of the 2002-2007 and 2007-2012 parliamentary terms, changes in government following motions of no-confidence have been a characteristic of Papua New Guinea politics since independence.[1]


At national elections held in June and July 2007, incumbent Prime Minister Sir Michael was re-elected for another term as Prime Minister. In July 2011, following a turbulent political period during which Sir Michael tookindefinite sick leave, Arthur Somare released a statement on his family's behalf indicating that Parliament should begin proceedings to remove him on medical grounds.

In August 2011,Works Minister and former Treasurer, Peter O'Neill was voted in on the floor of Parliament as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. In December 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that O'Neill had not been lawfully appointed as Prime Minister. This decision led to continued political upheaval and tension between the parliament and judiciary.

In May 2012, the Supreme Court again ruled the O'Neill had not been lawfully appointed as Prime Minister. In response Parliament declared a vacancy in the Prime Ministership and a vote on the floor of parliament led to O'Neill being elected again as Prime Minister. Elections writs were issued on schedule on 18 May 2012. Voting is scheduled to take place between 24 June and 6 July.[1]


Papua New Guinea has a dual economy comprising a formal, corporate-based sector and a large informal sector where subsistence farming accounts for the bulk of economic activity. The formal sector provides a narrow employment base, consisting of workers engaged in mineral production, a relatively small manufacturing sector, public sector employees and service industries including finance, construction, transportation and utilities. The majority of the population is engaged in the informal sector. Migration to major city centres in the past decade has contributed to urban unemployment and social problems.

In comparison to other Pacific island countries, Papua New Guinea is in a reasonably strong macro-economic position, with the savings it accrued during the commodity boom acting as a fiscal buffer against the global economic crisis (GEC), and its financial sector relatively sheltered from the impact of the global credit crunch.

In 2012, real GDP is projected to grow at 8 per cent - the 10th year of uninterrupted economic growth, Growth is supported by a recovery in mining output, and construction activity connected with the PNG LNG project. Inflationary pressures continue, although .monetary tightening in 2011 slowed inflation to an annualised rate of around 7 per cent at the end of the year, down from near 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2011. Risks to the economy include the possibility of 'resource curse' impacts from LNG and mineral sector growth, and the disruption to the economy should major resource projects not proceed as expected. PNG government revenues remain vulnerable to volatility in global prices for gold, copper and oil.

The ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project represents an enormous growth opportunity for Papua New Guinea and according to some estimates could contribute to an increase of 15 to 20 per cent in GDP per annum. The project is a vertically-integrated upstream natural and liquefied gas development with large facilities in the Southern Highlands and Port Moresby. Australian companies Oil Search and Santos have a substantial share in the project, with many Australian contractors providing technical support during the construction phase.[1]


  • Elizabeth II () (September 16, 1975 - )


  • Sir John Douglas Guise () (September 16, 1975 - December 13, 2010)
  • Sir Tore Lokoloko () (December 13, 2010 - )
  • Sir Kingsford Dibela () ( - )
  • Sir Ignatius Kilage () ( - )
  • Sir Vincent Serei Eri () ( - )
  • Sir Wiwa Korowi () ( - )
  • Sir Silas Atopare () ( - )
  • Sir Paulias Nguna Matane () ( - )
  • Sir Michael Ogio () ( - )

Prime Minister

  • Michael Thomas Somare () (September 16, 1975 - March 11, 1980)
  • Sir Julius Chan () (March 11, 1980 - August 2, 1982)
  • Michael Thomas Somare () (August 2, 1982 - November 21, 1985)
  • Paias Wingti () (November 21, 1985 - July 4, 1988)
  • Rabbie Namaliu () (July 4, 1988 - July 17, 1992)
  • Paias Wingti () (July 17, 1992 - August 30, 1994)
  • Sir Julius Chan () (August 30, 1994 - July 22, 1997)
  • Wiliam "Bill" Jack Skate () (July 22, 1997 - July 14, 1999)
  • Sir Mekere Morauta () (July 14, 1999 - August 5, 2002)
  • Sir Michael Thomas Somare () (August 5, 2002 - August 2, 2011)
  • Peter O'Neil () (August 2, 2011 - )


  1. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Country, economy and regional information

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