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The party was founded in June 1967 by (in particular) Michael Somare, Albert Maori Kiki and Barry Holloway; The initial interim executive was Somare, J. K. Nombri, Oala Oala-Rarua and Vin Tobaining, while it had nine members of the House of Assembly of Papua and New Guinea: Nicholas Brokam, Holloway, Wegra Kenu, Siwi Kurondo, Paul Lapun, Pita Lus, Paliau Maloat, James Meanggarum and Tony Voutas.
Somare later served as Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea as the leader of the Pangu Party from 1972 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1985. In 1985, Paias Wingti led a faction of the party to split with Somare, and Wingti won a no confidence vote against Somare, succeeding him as prime minister. In 1988, Somare was replaced as leader of Pangu by Rabbie Namaliu who served as prime minister from 1988 to 1992. Somare would then become leader of the National Alliance Party.
At the 2002 elections, the party won 6 of 109 seats, under the leadership of Chris Haiveta. After that election, Somare returned to power as prime minister. Pangu became a member of his coalition government, and continued to support the Somare government after the 2007 elections, in which Pangu won 5 seats.
It won only one seat at the 2012 election, that of Angoram MP Ludwig Schulze, but was left unrepresented when Schulze died in March 2013. In August 2014, Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil crossed to Pangu and reactivated its parliamentary wing, taking on the leadership. The party's numbers increased to two in August 2015 when William Samb won a by-election in Goilala Open.
- "REGISTRY OF POLITICAL PARTIES" (PDF). Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- Brij V. Lal and Kate Fortune (eds.), The Pacific Islands: an encyclopedia, University of Hawaii Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8248-2265-X, p.310
- "Australian Political Chronicle". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 13 (2). 1967.
- "MOA to Govern". The National. 6 August 2007. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007.
- "PM, Namah offer condolences". The National. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- "Basil now new Pangu leader". PNG Post Courier. 20 August 2014.
- "Pangu Pati candidate wins Goilala". PNG Post Courier. 12 August 2015.