Papua New Guinea

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Michael Somare, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, affectionately known as 'the Chief', showed in 1985 that he remains the master of his country's politics. Challenged to a vote of confidence in parliament, he won an apparently convincing victory by 68 votes to 19. But this success masks many problems, and it was only through skillful juggling and some awkward compromises that the Prime Minister achieved his victory. In reality, he presides uneasily over the country he took to independence 10 years ago.

Kevin Rafferty, writing in the 1986 'Pacific Business Guide'.

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Overview: Papua New Guinea


In July 2013 Reuters reported that Papua New Guinea had reinstated the death penalty and repealed controversial sorcery laws after a number of cases of so-called ‘witch’ killings and rape. Capital punishment was also to be introduced for some corruption cases and possibly even for cultivating marijuana. Parliament had voted to extend the death penalty laws, unused since 1954, to make murder, rape and robbery punishable by measures ranging from hanging to a firing squad, as well as ‘medical death by deprivation of oxygen’. Papua New Guinea had come under criticism from the United Nations following a large number of violent sorcery-related crimes, including murders and beheadings. In February 2013 a 20-year-old mother was accused of witchcraft, then stripped and burned alive in the Mount Hagen region. Amnesty International condemned the new laws as ‘horrific and repressive’. The government also proposed to apply the death penalty to producers of home-brewed alcohol.

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Profile: Papua New Guinea

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about

To purchase your copy of the World of Information Profile and Overview of Papua New Guinea: CLICK HERE

Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: The Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II; represented by Governor General Sir Michael Ogio (from 25 Feb 2011)
Head of government: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill (PNC) (from 2011; re-elected 3 Aug 2012)
Ruling party: Coalition led by the People’s National Congress (PNC) (from 3 Aug 2012)
Area: 462,840 square km
Population: 7.53 million (2014)*
Capital: Port Moresby
Official language: English, Tok Pisin, Motu
Currency: Kina (K) = 100 toea
Exchange rate: K2.80 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$2,133 (2014)*
GDP real growth: 5.84% (2014)*
GDP: US$16.06 billion (2014)*
Inflation: 5.31% (2014)*
Balance of trade: US$1.57 billion (2013)
Foreign debt: US$1.26 billion (2012)
* estimated figure


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