On the face of it, Papua New Guinea's new prime minister is an odd mix: a humble Christian and a political heavyweight in a cut-throat parliament.
After all, rising to the top of PNG's political scene - so often a flock of vultures driven less by national interest than the need to feather their own nests - is not for the faint-hearted.
But James Marape has prevailed through a combination of timing and audacity. The MP for Tari-Pori became PNG's eighth prime minister by rolling the man who he had supported as a key lieutenant since 2011.
It was Mr Marape's resignation as Finance Minister seven weeks ago, citing mistrust with the prime minister, which triggered a series of mass defections from Peter O'Neill's ruling People's National Congress party and the coalition government.
A flood of grievances over PNG's ailing economy, deteriorating basic services, handling of the country's resource wealth and festering corruption allegations ultimately turned the tide against Mr O'Neill who resigned as prime minister this week after almost eight years in the role.
The new prime minister was elected by an overwhelming majority of MPs on Thursday. A Seventh Day Adventist who is a graduate of the University of PNG with a Bachelor in Arts and honours in environmental science, Mr Marape made a gesture of humility in his maiden speech as PNG's leader.
"I am not multi-talented, I am the first to admit this. I am neither a saint. I make mistakes - that I can promise you. But I will make honest mistakes and not deliberate mistakes. In my lack of total talent and knowledge, I will draw from every one of you."
In essence, the rump of the O'Neill-led government has merely reconfigured to remain in power with a new leader. However significant hopes for change are pinned on Mr Marape's emergence as prime minister.
If Mr Marape had not been bold enough to leave the government and combine forces with the opposition, as the opportunity for a motion of no confidence against Mr O'Neill arose, there would probably have been no change in leadership.
Such has been Mr O'Neil's mastery of the PNG political scene that few MPs in government have been willing to risk the perks of government and access to district funds by deserting him. But the signs have been clear for some time that people across PNG have been suffering for lack of basic services, especially health, and want change.
While Madang MP Bryan Kramer may claim to have landed lasting blows against Mr O'Neill with his relentless Facebook attacks, it was James Marape who ultimately brought the government down. When Mr Marape left government, more MPs followed him. He is personable, has significant mana, and shares genuine friendships across the chamber.
As PNG's new leader, he likened himself to a choir master bringing different singers together to deliver a harmonious performance, and begged members from both sides of the house to follow the music he sets.
"Combined we can make a song that our children shall truly deserve in this country. No child must be left behind."
Telling parliament that he wanted PNG to be "the richest, black, Christian nation on planet Earth" within a decade, Mr Marape prioritised addressing uneven benefits from the country's abundant resource wealth.
One of the central reasons he left Mr O'Neill in April was disatisfaction at how his people had not seen promised benefits from PNG's first major LNG gas project, operated by ExxonMobil, which is based in his province, Hela, and has been exporting successfully for almost five years.
The new-look government, whose cabinet is yet to be finalised, is to review laws governing mining, oil and gas and other resource sectors, with Mr Marape saying his leadership was all about PNG taking back ownership of its economy in which foreign entities play a dominant role.
"We don't need more foreigners to come in and export our forestry sector. Those players currently playing in this country, your time is now to go into downstream (processing) and not round log exports."
James Marape said he didn't intend to chase away investors, but rather he encouraged them. Yet he insisted that PNG must maximise gain from its God-given resources.
A lingering problem for James Marape is that he has been caught up in some of Peter O'Neill's most glaring scandals in recent years.
Both of them were implicated in an alleged fraud case over which police sought an arrest warrant for Mr O'Neill in 2014. The case has not yet fully made it to court because the arrest warrant and other machinations behind the investigation were subjected to myriad legal challenges by the former prime minister.
Along with Mr O'Neill, Mr Marape was referred by the Ombudsman for a leadership tribunal investigation over a controversial $US1.2 billion loan that the government took on from Swiss-based investment bank UBS in 2014.
The two MPs come from the same Highlands region where deadly violence broke out during the 2017 elections and raged on well into 2018. Much of the unrest was sparked over widespread perceptions that the polls were rigged.
Mr Marape was declared the winner by PNG's Electoral Commission with just over 50 per cent of a total of 60,000 votes that were reportedly cast in his constituency - which was remarkable given the electoral roll had only about 40,000 eligible voters in Tari-Pori electorate.
During this week's dramatic parliament proceedings, in which Mr O'Neill finally resigned after appearing to backtrack on an earlier commitment to stand down, Mr Marape admitted that as a member of government he had made mistakes, but these were not deliberate. It was the systematic mistakes, he said, that his leadership would be working to eradicate.
He reminded the chamber that all the MPs were humans, and humans are not perfect, for that is the way God planned it.