Caretakers take office
By: Post Courier
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday announced a seven-man caretaker Cabinet, promising to name his full list of ministers before the first Parliament sitting on August 22.
Ruling People’s National Congress Party’s Alotau MP Charles Abel is Deputy Prime Minister and also Minister responsible for Treasury, Forestry, Civil Aviation, Sports and APEC, and Lands and Physical Planning.
United Resource Party Leader and Hagen Open MP William Duma takes over Petroleum and Energy and is also in charge of Housing and Urbanisation, Public Enterprise and State Investments, Transport, Agriculture and Livestock.
Another ruling PNC Party man, Abau MP Sir Puka Temu maintains Public Service as well as Education, Health and Higher Education, Research Science and Technology.
James Marape is responsible for Finance, Fisheries, Police, Works, Attorney-General and Justice.
Richard Maru, another PNC party member for Yangoru-Saussia, takes charge of National Planning and Monitoring, Labour and Industrial Relations, Trade, Commerce and Industry, and Communication and Information Technology.
United Party’s Wapenamanda MP Rimbink Pato maintains Foreign Affairs and Immigration together with Correctional Services, Defence, Community Development, Youth and Religion.
And a new minister, who is also the new deputy leader of the People’s Progress Party Johnson Tuke, the Kainantu MP, will be in charge of Mining, Culture, Arts and Tourism, Provincial Affairs, Environment, Conservation and Climate Change.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will be in charge of Bougainville Affairs until the full Cabinet appointments are announced before the first Parliament session this month.
All seven were sworn in at Government House by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae late yesterday afternoon.
At the news conference at Government House later, Mr O’Neill said that as a coalition, it was important for him to ensure a fair representation of various political parties and views.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank the newly sworn ministers of the State who are going to be the caretaker Cabinet for the next few weeks, while we prepare a full -time Cabinet in the next two weeks,” he said.