PNG FINANCE MINISTER YAKI FIRED OVER DROUGHT RELIEF

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 30, 1997 PACNEWS)--- Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Bill Skate, has fired his Finance Minister, Roy Yaki.

Yaki was sacked Monday for failing to release funds to drought- and frost-affected regions across the country, The National newspaper reports.

Skate says Yaki also was relieved of his duties for failing to consult him on the preparation of the national budget, which Skate said had not been completed before Yaki went abroad two weeks ago.

Yaki, who is due back in the country today, could not be reached for comment.

Yaki has been replaced by Iairo Lasaro, the Public Service Vice Minister, who also replaced Yaki as People's Democratic Movement leader at a special party caucus meeting in Port Moresby last weekend.

Lasaro's former government position has been filled by Public Service Vice Minister Bernard Mollock.

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