5 Aug 2002

Somare returns as PNG leader

4:17 pm on 5 August 2002

Papua New Guinea's founding father Sir Michael Somare has been elected unopposed as the country's new prime minister.

Papua New Guinea's politicians met to select a new prime minister following one of the world's longest and most chaotic elections.

The caretaker Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, bowed out of the race yesterday.

Sir Mekere, whose party was battered at the polls, says he felt he was the major obstacle to his party in attempting a tie up with independent MPs to form a new government.

Meanwhile the country's most controversial former Prime Minister Bill Skate was earlier elected Speaker.