27 Nov 2003

PNG has third deputy PM in less than a month

4:52 pm on 27 November 2003

Papua New Guinea's deputy prime minister and fisheries minister, Andrew Baing, has been sacked and replaced by the leader of the People's Action Party, Moses Maladina.

Mr Baing was dismissed by the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, after the government failed to push through its amendment seeking to extend the grace period of votes of no-confidence in the government from 18 months to three years.

After Mr Baing's party opposed the amendment, the government failed to muster the 73 votes required to pass the Bill.

Once his party's view was made clear, Mr Baing tried to seek leave to give a personal explanation but was booed down by government ranks.

Mr Maladina is the third deputy prime minister the country has had in less than a month.

Mr Baing replaced Dr Allan Marat three weeks ago.