SYDNEY (Reuters) – Voting in Papua New Guinea’s parliament on Thursday showed former finance minister James Marape had enough support to replace Peter O’Neill as prime minister after weeks of political turmoil over the handling of a gas development deal.
Speaker of Parliament Job Pomat was yet to tally the votes but lawmakers showed their allegiances by moving over to sit on Marape’s side of the house. Well over half the 111-seat house moved to Marape’s side.
Marape quit as finance minister in April over a gas deal with France’s Total SA he called too generous to the oil major. His allies suggested on Thursday that, as leader, he could review the deal.
Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Paul Tait