19 May 2004

Papua New Guinea PM drops Deputy PM and House Leader in cabinet reshuffle

11:07 am on 19 May 2004

Papua New Guinea's government has had a major reshuffle in cabinet, which has seen the Deputy prime minister, Moses Maledina, sacked.

However Sir Peter Barter, the intergovernment relations minister, and the finance minister Bart Philemon have kept their portfolios.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Peter Niesi says political parties are now divided.

"The prime minister basically sacked his deputy prime minister, Moses Maladina, and his Leader of government business, Peter O'Neil, in a major cabinet reshuffle. In the case of Mr O'Neil and his Peoples National Congress Party, he basically sacked all of the cabinet ministers. In the case of deputy prime minister, Moses Maladina's Peoples Action Party, he shifted ministries from many of those that are in his previous cabinet, to other members of the same party. A bit of divide and rule tactics. ."