PNG's Marape alludes to rift with PM as reason for his departure

5:57 pm on 11 April 2019

Papua New Guinea's finance minister James Marape says a collapse of trust in his relationship with the prime minister led to his sudden resignation.

Papua New Guinea's prime minister Peter O'Neill  (with glasses) celebrates being declared winner of the election in his Ialibu-Pangia electorate, alongside fellow victorious People's National Congress member James Marape (red hat).

James Marape (right, wearing cap) with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill during the 2017 election. Photo: PMO Media

James Marape resigned this afternoon in a decision that's understood to have shocked several of his cabinet colleagues.

In a statement, James Marape alludes to a deep rift that's formed between himself and the prime minister, Peter O'Neill.

Mr Marape says trust has collapsed, with several differences of opinion on subjects like oil revenue, honouring agreements, and other economic matters.

He said his concerns have been ignored for years, and it would be better for someone else to take on the role.

The Tari-Pori MP had been a leading confidant and ally of Mr O'Neill, despite increasing pressures on the country's struggling economy.

Mr Marape said he would continue to support the government as a backbench MP.