People in Matupit Bay, Papua New Guinea. Editorial credit: Keith Michael Taylor / Shutterstock.com

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a democracy in which elections are held regularly, but the polls have often been marred by irregularities and violence. Party allegiances are unstable, and only two governments have survived for a full term since independence in 1975. However, since the turn of the century, a boom in mineral resources extraction has helped successive incumbent governments to consolidate control. The judiciary retains significant independence, and the media are mostly free to criticize the government. Corruption remains a serious problem.

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Freedom in the World — Papua New Guinea Country Report

Papua New Guinea is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.