MPs defect to dump Somare as PNG leader
Papua New Guinea has a new prime minister after disgruntled government MPs joined forces with the opposition to have the office declared vacant.
When parliament resumed on Tuesday afternoon, several government MPs walked out with the opposition and sat on their side of the house.
With bolstered numbers, opposition leader Belden Namah successfully moved to have the prime minister's office declared vacant because of the ongoing absence of Sir Michael Somare due to ill health.
He then nominated Peter O'Neil as the new prime minister, a move that was carried in a 70-24 vote. Before defecting, Mr O'Neil was the works minister.
He takes over from acting prime minister Sam Abal, who sat dejected as the floor erupted with applause and Mr O'Neil was congratulated by his new colleagues.
Mr O'Neil was expected to head to government house to be officially sworn in.