The first prime minister of Papua New Guinea, Michael Somare, died on Friday in the capital, Port Moresby. He played an important role in leading the country to independence from Australia. He was 84 years old.
His daughter Betha Somare announced his death in the hospital. He said he was admitted to the hospital on February 19 after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.
She said in an email statement: “Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is one of the least known and most aggressive cancers.” “Our family only has two weeks to find possible treatment for my father. method.”
Mr. Somare is widely regarded as the father of the Pacific nations. He is the longest-term prime minister of Papua New Guinea. He served three consecutive independent terms, 17 of the 45 years of independence of the country. He served as an office from 1975 to 1980; from 1982 to 1985; from 2002 to 2011.
Mr. Somare played a key role in dealing with the challenges presented by the different tribal groups in the country, the Australian diaspora and the Australian government before the fight for independence.
Ronald May, an honorary researcher of the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University, wrote an obituary about Mr. Somare on the university website:
“Despite these challenges, Papua New Guinea made a smooth transition to independence in 1975. Mr. Somare’s appointment as Prime Minister confuses those who are politically and economically collapsing in Australia and other regions. It still maintains an uninterrupted record of democracy. One of the very few post-colonial countries.”
Mr. Somare was born on April 9, 1936 in Rabaul, eastern New Britain, where his father worked as a policeman. The younger Mr. Somare was raised in East Sepik Province, and he will then be represented in Parliament.
Before joining politics, he was the founder of Pangu Pati and worked as a translator and journalist. PanguPati served as an informal opposition in the parliament before establishing a coalition of independent national leadership.
He served as the chief minister of Papua New Guinea in the territory under the administration of Australia, and served as the first prime minister after independence.
Somare, speaking to the new country on the midnight radio, said: “This is just the beginning. Now we must stand on our feet and work harder than ever. We are indeed the masters of our own destiny. .”
He spent the last part of his final term in intensive care outside Papua New Guinea, during which time he was dismissed by a group of parliamentarians who declared the position of prime minister vacant. Mr. Somare officially retired in 2017.
In addition to his daughter Bertha, Mr. Somare’s wife Veronica (Veronica) married in 1965 and survived. With their other children, Sana, Arthur, Michael and Dulciana.
On Friday, Mr. Malappé called for “a week of silence, peace and calm, because we pay tribute to the adults in this country.”