Papua New Guinea profile
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a Governor-General.
Prime minister: Peter O'Neill
Parliament endorsed Peter O'Neill as prime minister in August 2012, drawing the line under a prolonged political feud with his rival Sir Michael Somare. The dispute had left Papua New Guinea with parallel administrations.
Both men were declaring themselves the rightful prime minister ahead of national elections in June.
Sir Michael, the founding father of independent Papua New Guinea, accepted the defeat of his National Alliance Party in the poll and backed Mr O'Neill's bid to form a government. He said he would step down as party leader but remain an MP.
Mr O'Neill was elected by MPs in August 2011 after Sir Michael was ruled ineligible to be an MP owing to illness and absence from the house.
But the Supreme Court ruled that Mr O'Neill's election was illegal and that Sir Michael should be reinstated. Parliament backed Mr O'Neill, defying the court.
Mr O'Neill faced a further challenge to his authority in January 2012, when a group of soldiers demanding Sir Michael's reinstatement seized the military headquarters in Port Moresby.
Born in the Southern Highlands Province in 1965, Mr O'Neill was a businessman before being elected to parliament in 2002. Two years later, he became leader of the opposition before crossing the floor in 2007 to join Sir Michael Somare's government as finance, treasury and works minister.
Known as "The Chief", Mr O'Neill's rival, Sir Michael Somare, led the country to independence from Australia in 1975 and had a reputation for capable administration.
He returned to power in 2002 after a violent and chaotic election, and was re-elected as prime minister after the 2007 polls.