Papua New Guinea elects new PM, ending chaos

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Associated Press

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 4:01 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 3 at 4:31 AM

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AP) — Papua New Guinea's Parliament has elected Peter O'Neill as the South Pacific island nation's prime minister.

O'Neill's election on Friday ends a bitter, year-long power struggle between the new leader and his predecessor that plunged the country into political chaos.

O'Neill was elected by 94 votes to 12. Last month, his former foe Sir Michael Somare threw his support behind O'Neill's People's National Congress party, which won a general election.

The political drama began last August when Parliament elected O'Neill prime minister in place of Somare, who was in Singapore undergoing medical treatment. The Supreme Court later ruled that Somare was the rightful leader, but O'Neill refused to step down.

At one point, both men were claiming to be prime minister.

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