sir julius chan



2nd Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

Date of Birth               :           29 August 1939
Place of Birth              :           Tanga Islands, New Ireland Province
Occupation                  :           Member of Parliament; current Governor of New Ireland Province. Leader of the People’s Progress Party (PPP)




  • He was educated at Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane, Australia.


  • He 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 1968 and was re-elected in 1972, 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 (PPP) in 1970.
  • He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of British Empire (KBE) in 1981, and appointed a Privy Counsellor (PC) the next year.
  • He first became prime minister on 11 March 1980, succeeding the country's first Prime Minister, Michael Somare. He served as Prime Minister until 2 August 1982, when Somare regained the position.
  • He succeeded 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 multimillion-dollar contract with Sandline International, a mercenary affairs 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 2 June 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 22 July 1997.
  • He remained out of Parliament until winning the New Ireland Provincial seat in the June–July 2007 election.

Sir Julius Chan – In Office as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea:

  • 1980 – 1982
  • 1994 – 1997