Sir Michael Thomas Somare

Sir Michael Thomas SomareSir Michael grew up in the village of Karau in the Murik Lakes district of East Sepik Province. His earliest education was in a Japanese-run primary school at Karau during World War II where he learned to read, write and count in Japanese. He graduated from Sogeri High School with a Leaving Certificate in 1957. This was a teaching qualification at the time, and he then taught at several primary and secondary schools.

Transferring within the Public Service, Sir Michael became a radio broadcaster based in Wewak in the East Sepik Province. He left the Public Service to contest the elections for the second House of Assembly in 1968 as a member of the Pangu Party which he had founded with others in 1967. Sir Michael was Chief Minister, becoming Prime Minister when self-government was granted in 1975, and was a key figure in the preparations for subsequent independence and the preparation and adoption of the Constitution. He was again Prime Minister from 1982 until 1985, and won the office a third time in 2002.

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