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Appoints Agiru as new Deputy Prime Minister

By Gorethy Kenneth PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 28, 2011) – In Papua New Guinea (PNG), two very senior ministers in the Somare-Abal regime have relinquished their ministerial portfolios for a possible way forward for their camp and to pave way for further political negotiations.

This has resulted in Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru being appointed the Deputy Prime Minister, next in line to court reinstated PM Sir Michael Somare.

This is the portfolio that Wabag MP Sam Abal held until August 2, 2011 when the O’Neill-Namah regime overthrew their government.

Southern Highlands favourite son Governor Agiru has been loyal to the Grand Chief. Agiru, a strategist who has demonstrated strong leadership and is known for his fierce loyalty to his friends, can reach out to the Government or the Opposition.

It is believed Sir Michael’s appointment of Mr Agiru is a calculated move in view of the coming 2012 national elections and on the eve of the Grand Chief’s retirement.

Mr Agiru is now officially the deputy PM in the Supreme Court reinstated Somare-Abal government.

His official appointment is only pending official signature from the Government House. Vice Regal Sir Michael Ogio is on Christmas vacation and Foreign Affairs Minister Ano Pala, in the O’Neill-Namah government is acting G-G.

Mr Agiru, a man with strong Christian values is also a strong man of principles. As of yesterday the Somare-Agiru faction still maintained that they were the legitimate government, despite Prime Minister Peter O’Neill taking full control of the affairs of Papua New Guinea and announcing a one-week holiday. "We are a nation that upholds and not undermine the Constitution," Mr Agiru said.

"PNG enjoys the Constitutionalism form of democracy. We must respect the very instrument that holds our country together. Our Constitution is the only document that holds a thousand nations in one nation. We must uphold it all material times," Mr Agiru said. The Highlands leaders, in the likes of Nipa Kutubu MP Philemon Embel, Enga Governor Peter Ipatas, Mr Abal, Mr Agiru, and Sani Rambi to name a few, who stood by Sir Michael because of their belief of the Constitution that being supreme. The leaders explained that they wanted to make way for others to take up the senior ministries, shared equally across PNG. Mr Abal still maintains the Immigration Ministry James Marape Education Minister in the Somare-Abal regime also relinquished his ministerial portfolio to make way for other coalition partners’ further negotiations.

"The time has come for us leaders to humble ourselves and put God and Papua New Guinea first because there is a danger of unrest unless all political leaders immediately come to a dialogue and break free this political impasse facing the country," Mr Abal had said recently. The leaders have challenged Mr O’Neill and his deputy Belden Namah to vacate the seat and allow for Sir Michael and his regime to take his place and the process can take place on January 17, when Parliament resumes.

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