PNG PM Finalizes Cabinet Reshuffling Ahead Of 2017 General Elections

O’Neill hopes stability will help put vote of no-confidence behind administration

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 27, 2016) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has finalised his Cabinet line-up that is aimed at restoring stability leading into the 2017 General Election in a ministerial reshuffle announced yesterday.

The reshuffle has seen the promotion of Talasea MP Francis Marus being rewarded as Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology and Member for Usino-Bundi Anton Yagama elevated to vice-minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments. These two new appointees were sworn into office at Government House yesterday.

The reshuffle also included Madang MP Nixon Duban, who has been moved back to his old job as Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Gazelle MP Malakai Tabar moves from Higher Education to Transport and Infrastructure.

"This now completes our final cabinet that brings stability into government for the next nine months leading into the election," Mr O’Neill said in a brief media conference at Government House.

"On behalf of People’s National Congress and the coalition partners we welcome Marus who is a second term MP, who is young and recently graduated from the university and knows student issues and will now take up the challenge."

He said the reappointment of Mr Duban as Petroleum and Energy Minister was because of his experience and he will push through projects that are in the pipeline, including Pyn’yang, Elk-Antelope and the Stanley project.

He said political stability gives confidence to investors as well as in production, and create employment.

Coalition partner and National Alliance Party Leader Patrick Pruaitch who was present said the appointment of Mr Marus is an indication that the government is solid.

"What happened last Friday (vote of no-confidence) is history now and move forward," he said.

United Resource Party leader William Duma said the Government will go to the election as partners and heaped praise on the re-appointment of Minister Duban as Petroleum Minister.

The solid government team was led by PM O’Neill, and Ministers Duma, Pruaitch, Mao Zeming, Justin Tkatchenko, Douglas Tomuriesa, James Marape and Menyamya MP Benjamin Philip.

PNG Post-Courier
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