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Papua New Guinea

Yearbook 1997

Papua New Guinea. In March, Prime Minister Julius Chan resigned from his post. His case was preceded by his alleged willingness to hire foreign mercenaries to strike a rebellion on the island of Bougainville that threatened his position and the entire economy of the kingdom. According to Countryaah, Bougainville has some of the world's richest gold and copper mines, and disputes over its control have occurred since the late 1980s. Despite Parliament's support for Chan, an angry crowd made him quit along with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. Parliament appointed John Giheno as prime minister for an expedition minister.

In June, Julius Chan returned as prime minister after an investigative commission found no "binding evidence" for his alleged hiring of mercenaries.

Following the June parliamentary elections, Bill Skate became the new prime minister for a three-party coalition in the 109-head parliament. Shortly thereafter, peace talks began in various rounds with the warring parties at Bougainville. Australia and New Zealand as mediators.

After a prolonged drought, the government announced in September that a national accident had occurred with more than 50 dead and 700,000 people affected. The drought, described as the worst in 50 years, was attributed to the effects of the El Niņo weather phenomenon.

1997 Papua New Guinea

In July 1997, the government and separatists from Bougainville signed an agreement in New Zealand on definitive ceasefire, demilitarization of the island and transfer of UN peacekeeping forces. Australia pledged funds to rebuild Bougainville.

In late 1997, the government resumed mining operations at Bougainville. The drought in several parts of the country led to extensive forest fires and also affected the production of coffee.

In February 1998, 13 timber companies closed as an indirect consequence of the stock exchange and financial crisis that erupted in 1997 in other parts of Southeast Asia. That led to the loss of 4,000 jobs.

In July 1999, Parliament called on Skate to resign as prime minister. The reason was that he had established diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which in return would give Papua 2.5 billion. US $ in mixed credits.

The leader of the People's Democratic Movement and former director of the National Bank, Mekele Morauta got 99 votes in parliament against just 5 and was named new prime minister. Mekele declared that the agreement with Taiwan was immediately terminated. It had drastically worsened relations with mainland China.

In compensation for the lost Taiwanese credits, Mekele declared that negotiations with the IMF would be initiated. The country's economic situation was very severe, with inflation exceeding 20% ​​annually and a large budget deficit.

From June 15 and two weeks on, general elections were held in the country. Acc. observers were talking about the most important election since independence because it was the first time since independence in 1975 that a president had run his entire term. Otherwise, the country's political history has been marked by instability and violence. As the country's infrastructure is poorly developed and there is a lack of proper connections to rainforest areas and mountain areas, the electoral process was spread over several weeks. The election was also characterized by the fact that some places took a very long time before the polling stations were opened and stolen polling stations were also reported.

 

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