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PNG PM's party to form new coalition government
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16:18, August 06, 2007

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Papua New Guinea's (PNG) Governor-General Paulias Matane Monday asked Prime Minister Michael Somare's National Alliance Party to form a new coalition government and Somare accepted it.

The party won 27 of 109 parliamentary seats in the national election which was held from June 30 to mid July, and is the party winning the most parliamentary seats.

"I accept the invitation to form the next government of Papua New Guinea," Somare told Matane.

"The National Alliance Party wishes to thank the people of Papua New Guinea for their confidence in mandating the party," he was quoted by Australian Associated Press as saying.

The National Alliance Party has claimed to have well over the 55 seats needed to form government after cutting deals with smaller parties.

Somare thanked independent members who had decided to join his party.

"With their support the party is stronger and better placed to provide the leadership that the country needs at this time of our development," he said.

"We are proud people, we are a sovereign nation. We recognize our shortcomings but we will not be overwhelmed by them," he added.

The parliament will elect a new speaker and prime minister on Aug. 13.

The National Alliance Party won the right to form government following 2002's national election and Somare, who led the previous government for record five years, became the country's longest-serving prime minister.

Source: Xinhua

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