2017 Papua New Guinean general election

General elections were held in Papua New Guinea between 24 June and 8 July 2017.[1] The writs for the election were issued on 20 April,[2] and candidate nominations closed on 27 April.[1]

2017 Papua New Guinean general election
Papua New Guinea
← 2012 24 June – 8 July 2017 2022 →

All 111 seats in the National Parliament
56 seats needed for a majority
Party Leader % Seats
PNC Peter O'Neill 13.16 28
NAP Patrick Pruaitch 6.13 15
THERP Don Polye 4.10 4
Pangu Pati Sam Basil 4.08 9
URP William Duma 3.93 10
PPP Ben Micah 3.46 5
PNG Party Belden Namah 2.74 5
National Party Kerenga Kua 2.36 3
People's Party Peter Ipatas 1.75 2
SDP Powes Parkop 1.64 2
PLP Benedict Simanjuang 1.62 2
United Party Rimbink Pato 1.41 1
One Nation Peter Numu 1.31 1
CDP Kelly Naru 1.27 1
PDM Paias Wingti 1.27 1
CRP Joseph Lelang 1.25 1
PMC Gary Juffa 0.95 1
MAP Joseph Yopyyopy 0.81 1
Country Party Nelson Duabane 0.68 1
ODP Puka Temu 0.45 1
MLP Allan Marat 0.21 1
Independents 37.54 14
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
2017 Papua New Guinean general election results.svg
Results by constituency
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Peter O'Neill
Peter O'Neill

Michael Somare, the first Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, retired as a Member of National Parliament at the election. Somare has served continuously since he was first elected to the pre-independence House of Assembly in 1968, an unbroken term of 49 years.[3]

On 1 August 2017 Peter O'Neill was re-elected as Prime Minister by Parliament by a vote of 64–40.[4]

Electoral systemEdit

The 111 members of the National Parliament were elected from single-member constituencies by preferential voting; voters were given up to three preferences, with a candidate declared elected once they received over 50% of preference votes.[5] Of the 111 members, 89 were elected from "open" seats and 22 from provincial seats based on the twenty provinces, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the National Capital District (Port Moresby). The provincial members are also the governors of their respective provinces, unless they take a ministerial position, in which case the position goes to one of the members for the open seats.


Important dates in the election are listed below.[6][7]

20 April Issue of Writs, opening of nominations and start of campaign period
27 April Nominations close
24 June Polling starts
8 July Polling and campaign period ends, counting of the ballot paper begins
On or before

24 July

Return of Writs, counting of the ballot paper ends
7 August Return of Writs for Local-Level Government Elections

The Return of Writs was postponed to 29 July due to few of the 111 seats being declared. The Writs were presented to Governor General Sir Robert Dadae on 29 July by Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, with only 80 seats declared.[8]


The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission reported in preliminary figures that 3332 candidates have nominated to contest the election, 165 candidates of whom are women.[9]

Province Region Male Candidates Female Candidates Total
  Chimbu Highlands Region 309 11 320
  Eastern Highlands Highlands Region 384 12 396
  Enga Highlands Region 154 8 162
  Hela Highlands Region 89 3 92
  Jiwaka Highlands Region 133 5 138
  Southern Highlands Highlands Region 116 1 117
  Western Highlands Highlands Region 95 3 98
  A/R Bougainville NGI Region 68 5 73
  East New Britain NGI Region 79 2 81
  Manus NGI Region 52 8 60
  New Ireland NGI Region 42 4 46
  West New Britain NGI Region 68 0 68
  East Sepik Momase Region 163 11 174
  Madang Momase Region 253 14 267
  Morobe Momase Region 314 13 327
  West Sepik Momase Region 92 5 97
  Central Papua Region 133 14 147
  Gulf Papua Region 133 12 145
  Milne Bay Papua Region 96 5 101
  National Capital District Papua Region 128 13 141
  Northern Papua Region 95 8 103
  Western Papua Region 171 8 179
Total 3167 165 3332


There has reportedly been less activity in the 2017 election compared to previous elections, with PNG National Party Leader Kerenga Kua saying "There is less colour, less movement, and that's not good, because you need to have some level of activity for educational purposes".[10] Four people died in clashes regarding the election, with several candidates attacked during campaigning or nominations, to which Electoral Comisisoner Patilias Gamato said "We have not gone into polls yet but already people are engaging in violent activities, threats and intimidation — that's unnecessary."[10]

Ezekiel Anisi, MP for Ambunti-Dreikikir Open died suddenly on 24 May 2017 at a Port Moresby guesthouse in the midst of his re-election campaign.[11]


The Bank of Papua New Guinea is concerned that 160 Million Kina of old currency which was stolen has the potential to influence the election.[12] There are concerns in the Menyama District of Morobe Province that poor weather conditions affecting road transport could cause issues with the transportation of polling materials closer towards the election.[13]

Significant issues with voting had arisen by late June. On 27 June, the day voting was due to begin in the National Capital District, voting in all three electorates there was delayed until 30 June after polling officials went on strike due to unpaid allowances. At least sixteen electoral officials were arrested, including NCD election manager Terrence Hetinu, who was found with US$57,000 in cash stored in his car, while NCD assistant returning officer Roselyn Tobogani was arrested after officials were found smuggling ballot papers out of the provincial election office.[14][15][16]

Voting in Chimbu Province, Hela Province and Western Highlands Province failed to begin on schedule on 26 June due to issues with the common roll and disputes over numbers of ballot papers, while voting in Eastern Highlands Province only commenced on a limited basis amidst reports that "thousands of students" had been left off the electoral roll.[14][15]

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato obtained a court order against blogger Martyn Namorong, restricting him from sharing defamatory statements against the commissioner. This came after Gamato received criticism which compared him and his surname to a tomato.[17]


No women were elected, making Papua New Guinea one of only three or four countries in the world (as of 1 February 2019) to have no women in the legislature.[18]

PartyFirst preference votes%Seats
People's National Congress1,039,94013.1628
National Alliance Party484,3006.1315
Triumph Heritage Empowerment Rural Party323,9514.104
Pangu Pati322,0494.089
United Resources Party310,2823.9310
People's Progress Party273,8393.465
Papua New Guinea Party216,5272.745
National Party186,2792.363
People's Party138,3951.752
Social Democratic Party129,2661.642
People's Labour Party127,9891.622
Grassroots United Front Party124,2231.570
United Party111,7861.411
PNG One Nation Party103,5151.311
Christian Democratic Party100,7311.271
People's Democratic Movement100,5471.271
Coalition for Reform Party99,0111.251
People's Movement for Change74,7470.951
People's Action Party70,3650.890
Trust PNG Party66,5130.840
New Generation Party65,6620.830
Melanesian Alliance Party63,7370.811
PNG Country Party53,8230.681
Model Nation Party49,6410.630
PNG Youths Party41,0170.520
Our Development Party35,1860.451
PNG Socialist Party34,7910.440
Papua New Guinea Constitutional Democratic Party28,7020.360
Papua New Guinea First Party28,3230.360
Paradise Kingdom Party23,2390.290
SOM Pioneer Party22,8130.290
Nation's Interest Party20,4190.260
Melanesian Liberal Party16,4290.211
People's Freedom Party14,4360.180
PNG Destiny Party7,4950.090
Papua New Guinea Greens7,2910.090
Star Alliance Party6,5020.080
Mapai Levites Party6,3850.080
National Conservative Party2,7730.040
Wantok In Godly Services Party2,4350.030
People's Resources Awareness Party4960.010
Republican Party1010.000
Valid votes7,903,01898.19
Invalid/blank votes145,7601.81
Total votes8,048,778100.00
Source: Development Policy Centre

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ These results omit the figures for Central Bougainville (where a recount took place) and Henganofi


  1. ^ a b "2017 National and LLG Elections Dates". PNG Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Writs issued for PNG elections". Radio New Zealand. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare's Farewell Speech in Parliament". EMTV. 4 April 2017. Archived from the original on 8 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  4. ^ PNG election: Controversial PM Peter O'Neill re-elected, promises election review ABC, 2 August 2017
  5. ^ Electoral system IPU
  6. ^ "2017 National and LLG Elections Dates". www.pngec.gov.pg. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Home". www.pngec.gov.pg. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  8. ^ "PNG's constitutional watchdog intervenes after election ends in controversy". ABC News. 29 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Preliminary figures show 3332 candidates nominate to contest". www.pngec.gov.pg. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  10. ^ a b "PNG's cash crunch saps colour from election campaigns". ABC News. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  11. ^ "RA Pacific Beat on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Fears recirculation of old PNG currency could skew election results". ABC News. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  13. ^ "EC must seriously consider road issues - Post Courier". postcourier.com.pg. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  14. ^ a b "PNG election: Vote suspended in capital as three returning officers are detained". SBS. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Port Moresby election manager arrested over $80k cash stash". The New Daily. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  16. ^ "NCD Election Manager Terrence Hetinu in Police Custody for Election Corruption". Papua New Guinea Today. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  17. ^ "PNG election official gets court order to stop blogger calling him 'tomato'". ABC News. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  18. ^ Women in national parliament Inter-Parliamentary Union

External linksEdit