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Julius Chan Bio


Sir Julius Chan GCL GCMG KBE (陳仲民, Pinyin: Chén Zhòngmín; born 29 August 1939) was Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea from 1980 to 1982 and from 1994 to 1997. He is currently Member of Parliament for New Ireland Province, having won the seat in the 2007 national election. He is also the current Governor of New Ireland Province, since 2007. Born on Tanga Islands, New Ireland Province to Chin Pak (陳柏), a trader from Taishan, China, Julius Chan was educated at Marist College Ashgrove in Australia and first became actively involved in politics in the 1960s. He was elected to represent the Namatanai district of New Ireland province in the pre-independence National Assembly in 1972 and was re-elected in 1977, 1982, 1987, and 1992. He was Deputy Prime Minister four times (1976, 1985, 1986, 1992-1994), and Minister of Finance twice (1972–1977, 1992–1994). He also held the portfolios of Primary Industry (1976) and External Affairs and Trade (1994). Chan became leader of the People's Progress Party in 1970. He was knighted as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1981, and appointed a Privy Counsellor the next year. He first became prime minister on March 11, 1980, succeeding the country's first prime minister, Michael Somare. He served as prime minister until August 2, 1982, when Somare regained the position. He ousted Prime Minister Paias Wingti in August 1994 and took office on the dual platform of national security and appropriate economic management. In 1997, the Chan government's multi-million-dollar contract with Sandline International, a mercenary organization, to counter separatist guerrilla warfare on Bougainville caused the Sandline affair, with immense public protests and a 10-day mutiny by the underpaid national army. On 25 March 1997, during an inquiry that started on 21 March that caused five ministers to resign, the Parliament defeated a motion calling on Chan to resign (59-38). However, the next day, Chan and two ministers chose to step down, and John Giheno, a member of Chan’s party, became acting prime minister a day later. He regained the position on June 2, 1997, shortly before the national elections. Chan was defeated in the national election in June 1997 and was succeeded as prime minister by Bill Skate on July 22, 1997. He remained out of Parliament until winning the New Ireland Provincial seat in the June-July 2007 election. During the "horse trading" phase of negotiations following the 2007 election, he was nominated for the position of prime minister, with the backing of Mekere Morauta and Bart Philemon, as an alternative to the large National Alliance grouping which appeared likely to again be led by Somare.[1] Parliamentary Speaker Jeffrey Nape rejected Chan's nomination as a candidate and Somare won the vote to become Prime Minister without opposition on August 13, while 21 members of Parliament joined Chan's opposition group.[2] Chan married Stella, Lady Chan in 1966 and has four children: Vanessa Andrea, Byron James, Mark Gavin, and Toea Julius. His son Byron Chan has been Member of Parliament for Namatanai Open electorate, covering the south of New Ireland, since 2002. [3]

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