Rival PNG prime ministers join forces to form new gov't

July 25, 2012 09:37


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PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's rival prime ministers have ended a political feud that left the resource-rich country with two leaders for the most of the past year, joining forces to form a government in a surprise twist to the South Pacific nation's elections.

The peace deal means incumbent Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is most likely to head the new government and form a coalition after a prolonged national election in the often volatile country, with backing from rival Michael Somare.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank our founding father of our country, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, for joining us, making sure that we provide a government that is truly deserving for Papua New Guinea with all the stability that it deserves," O'Neill said.

The result, if endorsed by parliament next week, should bring a new level of political stability to the nation of around 6.5 million people after a tumultuous year.

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