Papua New Guinea. According to
Countryaah official site, Papua New Guinea's usually turbulent
politics hit a record during the year, when the country
gained two competing governments. In January, Parliament
elected Acting Governor-General Michael Ogio to be
permanently in office.
Prime Minister Michael Somare returned in January after
being temporarily suspended during an investigation into
allegations that he failed to fulfill his duties. After a
few months, he was temporarily shut down, but when he
returned in April, the 75-year-old Somare failed to show up
for health reasons. Seriously ill, he operated abroad and
told him to leave politics for good.
Somare's ally, former Foreign Minister Sam Abal, was
appointed acting prime minister. He tried to strengthen his
position by dismissing two ministerial rivals. In August,
Parliament then decided to declare the Prime Minister's post
vacant and formerly elected Finance Minister Peter O'Neill
as new permanent head of government.
Sam Abal considered that Parliament's decision was
contrary to the Constitution, and in collaboration with
Somare he appealed the decision in court. O'Neill and his
allies tried with the help of doctors to prove that Somare's
illness made him unable to lead the country and that a
permanent head of government could thus be elected. But
Somare and Abal said that Somare's recovery from heart, lung
and kidney operations showed that he could have continued to
lead the country until the elections in 2012. Somare also
appealed a decision by the Speaker of Parliament to take
away his parliamentary mandate. The Supreme Court would
decide the disputes at the end of the year.
The conflict was aggravated when the government was
accused of wanting to dismiss the chief judge in the Supreme
Court and thus influence the court's ruling. The government
claimed that the chief judge misjudged the court's finances
and was involved in dusk deals and conflicts of interest.
The Supreme Court issued arrest warrants against the Deputy
Prime Minister and the State Prosecutor for court clashes.
Both were arrested but released on bail pending trial in
The opposition demanded that the Speaker of Parliament
should resign and be prosecuted for court-martial, after he
banned another member. According to the prosecutor, the
President had been guilty of a court order.
In October, at least 15 people were killed in ethnic
strife between two tribes in Kainantu in Papua New Guinea's
eastern highlands. Firearms and knives were used, and a
village was burned down. In November, at least two people
were killed during a few days of violence in Papua New
Guinea's second largest city Lae on the north coast, where
crime is widespread. A gang protesting against the crime
relied on highland residents who were blamed for the crime.
Before the police got the riot under control, at least a
thousand people had become homeless by burning down their
In December, the Supreme Court declared that the
deposition of Sam Abal and the election of Peter O'Neill as
prime minister had been in violation of the Constitution.
According to the court, Michael Somare was to be re-elected
as head of government. However, Parliament refused to follow
the verdict and re-elected O'Neill. But Somare formed a
government that was installed by General Governor Michael
Ogio. Then Parliament decided to oust Ogio and appoint an
acting Governor-General, who in turn installed O'Neill as
head of government. Thus, the country had two governments.
When Ogio later declared that he incorrectly installed
Somare as prime minister, Parliament re-elected Ogio as
governor general. At the end of the year, Peter O'Neill was
Papua New Guinea's head of government.
Thanks to the high gold prices, the country's GDP was
estimated to grow by about 8% during the year. Nearly
one-third of GDP was created through the production and sale