Public demonstrations are possible after the Papua New Guinea parliament elected a new prime minister on Thursday, May 30. Members of parliament elected James Marape, former Finance Minister and member of the ruling People's National Congress Party, to the premiership. Rallies in support or opposition to the move are possible in the coming hours and days, particularly near Parliament House in Port Moresby. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are possible in the event of any protests.
James Marape resigned as Finance Minister in April 2019 and had led several high-profile defectors from the People's National Congress Party, which precipitated the resignation of Peter O'Neill. Marape was a critic of a recent natural gas deal, which was a key controversy during O'Neill's tenure. O'Neill, who had served as prime minister since 2011, resigned on Wednesday, May 29, after facing increasing political pressure and votes of no confidence.
Individuals in Port Moresby, and Papua New Guinea more generally, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions near any protest sites, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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