Thursday, January 20, 2022

Papua New Guniea’s Grand chief Sir Michael Somare no more

Prime minister Scott Morrison Australia has extended deep condolences to the Somare family and the people of Papua New Guinea on the passing of Grand chief Sir Michael Somare. He was the prime Minister of Papua New Guinea for 17 years over four separate terms.

Sir Michael was a towering figure in the history of Papua New Guinea. As a driving force in the development of Papua New Guinea’s national constitution, and the nation’s first and longest-serving Prime Minister, Sir Michael has an unparalleled place in the history of Papua New Guinea.

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Sir Michael became a long-standing and respected friend of Australia, working alongside Australian Prime Ministers Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke, Howard, Rudd and Gillard. He was a vital partner who staunchly defended Papua New Guinea’s independence, but always appreciated Australia’s unstinting commitment to his country.

Sir Michael believed deeply in the Westminster system of government – with its separation of powers, independent judiciary, and strong democratic processes and institutions. That commitment made Papua New Guinea’s path to Independence, secure and enduring.

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Papua New Guinea is Australia’s closest neighbour.

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