CANBERRA, Australia—Papua New Guinea’s Parliament returned Prime Minister James Marape to power Aug. 9 following elections in the South Pacific Island nation.

He was nominated unopposed to lead the next coalition government at the first sitting of Parliament since the election, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported from the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby.

Parliament resumed despite the election outcome being declared for only 104 of 118 seats by Tuesday.

Counting continues in the remainder.
Marape’s Pangu Party holds 36 of those seats, 20 more than the next most successful party.


All 97 lawmakers who attended Parliament supported Mr. Marape’s nomination as prime minister, the Business Advantage PNG website reported.
Papua New Guinea has typically been governed by unstable, multi-party coalitions, but the country’s constitution won’t allow a no-confidence motion to bring down Marape for another 18 months.

Papua New Guinea is a diverse tribal society of nine million people who are mostly subsistence farmers and speak more than 800 languages.
  The leading contenders to lead the new government had been Mr. Marape and his predecessor who resigned in 2019, Peter O’Neill.

Since independence from Australia in 1975, Papua New Guinea has held elections marred by violence, fraud and bribery. Police at the outset of voting July 4 urged citizens not to sell their votes to any candidate and fights have broken out over allegations of vote-fixing.

Mr. Marape apologized in July to thousands of people who have been turned away from polling stations because of problems with the electoral roll. (AP)