SIR WILLIAM (BILL) JACK SKATE
5th Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
Name : William (Bill) Jack Skate
Date of Birth : 26 September 1953
Place of Birth : Kaugere, in Port Moresby
Occupation : Former Member of Parliament; former Governor for NCD. Founder of the People’s National Congress Party (PNC)
- Graduate Accountant
- Skate became Manager of the Capital District Commission in 1987.
- He was elected to Parliament in 1992 and served as Speaker from 1992 to 1994, supporting the Government of Paias Wingti.
- Skate served as Governor of the National Capital District from 1995 to 1997.
- He was Prime Minister from 1997 to 1999 and resigned after 18 months, fearing that he would lose a challenge.
- In 2002, his political party the People’s National Congress Party (PNC) became a coalition partner in the government of Michael Somare and Skate became Speaker of the National Parliament. He was appointed acting Governor-General in November 2003, a constitutional requirement when that office falls vacant.
- Sir Pato Kakeraya was scheduled to take up the office on 20 January 2004, but Skate continued to act in the office because of court challenges to Kakeraya's election.
- On 3 March 2004, Skate was suspended as acting Governor-General because of allegations that he misappropriated funds during the 1990s.
- He then advised the Prime Minister to appoint a Cabinet Minister as acting Governor-General. The following day, however, he was cleared of the financial charges in court, and he became acting Governor-General again.
- In May 2004, his party left the coalition when he and other members refused to support a constitutional amendment supported by Somare which would have given the government more time to be immune to no-confidence votes. As a result, the PNC became the largest opposition party.
- On 28 May 2004, Skate ceased to be Speaker when the Parliament elected a pro-government candidate, Jeffrey Nape. The Office of Governor-General was still vacant at that stage, so Mr Nape automatically succeeded Skate as acting Governor-General.
- Bill Skate was knighted in January 2005 for services to Parliament, becoming Sir William Skate.
- He died in hospital on 3 January 2006, in Brisbane, Australia where he had been airlifted after suffering a stroke in late December 2005. He was buried in Port Moresby.
- He was the first Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to die.
Sir William (Bill) Jack Skate – In Office as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea:
- 1997 - 1999ata Thomas Somare CGL, GCMG, CH, CF, SSI. KStJ, KSG