PNG Prime Minister O'Neill tenders formal resignation

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has formally tendered his resignation to the Pacific country's Governor-General rather than face a parliamentary no-confidence motion.

"At 9.35am this morning I delivered to his excellency … the Governor-General, my letter of resignation," he said in parliament at Port Moresby on Wednesday.

O'Neill had promised to resign on Sunday after a string of defections from his government plunged his leadership into question and cost him his majority.


On Tuesday, an opposition bloc working to unseat O'Neill's government elected National Alliance Party leader Patrick Pruaitch as "alternate prime minister".

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But O'Neill, who has been in power since 2011, has nominated former prime minister Julius Chan, 79, to replace him and said he was confident the government would have the numbers to stay in power.

More to come