Rabbie Namaliu

Rabbie Namaliu (1948- ), public servant and politician. Namaliu was born in Kokopo, East New Britain District, and educated at Kerevat and Sogeri High Schools. He was among the first intake of students to UPNG and graduated with a B.A. in History and English in 1970. He was the founding president of the UPNG branch of the PANGU Pati in 1968. In 1971 he won a Commonwealth scholarship to Victoria University, British Columbia, Canada, from which he graduated with an M.A. in History and Political Science in 1972.

Namaliu was appointed a lecturer in history at UPNG in 1973 and was Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Minister, Michael Somare, from 1974-75. In 1976 he became the District Commissioner of East New Britain where he helped to establish a provincial government. He chaired the Public Services Commission from 1977-79 and became Principal Research Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister in 1980. In 1981 Namaliu was Executive Officer to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael Somare, and in 1982 he was elected to the House of Assembly to represent an East New Britain electorate. He was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1982-84, served as President of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group Council of Ministers in 1984 and was Minister for Primary Industry from 1984-85.

In May 1988 Namaliu replaced Somare as leader of PANGU and leader of the Opposition and in July 1988 he defeated Paias Wingti in a vote of no confidence and became Prime Minister. He retained his seat in the 1992 elections but failed to win the Prime Ministership. He resigned, for family reasons, as leader of the Opposition in July 1992 but remained in parliament and in the PANGU Pati. Namaliu was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Victoria University, Canada, in 1983.

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