Michael Somare, the first prime minister of Papua New Guinea to serve a full parliamentary term, today begins a second term. His party won just 27 of the 109 seats in recent parliamentary elections, but with a coalition of other parties and independents, has now been re-elected to the post by the new parliament.
That political engineering, meant to generate more governmental stability in perhaps the world’s most fragmented democracy, certainly seems to have worked!
PNG, with about six million people and continuous democracy since independence from Australia in the 1970s (and before independence, actually) is one of the overlooked cases of developing world electoral politics. It is also one of the world’s great Law-breakers–Duverger’s Law, that is.