7 Jun 2005

PNG gets new Deputy Prime Minister after a year long delay

5:37 am on 7 June 2005

Papua New Guinea's Petroleum and Energy Minister, Sir Moi Avei, has been sworn in as deputy prime minister following a year-long delay in appointing someone to the post.

The PNG Government has lacked a deputy prime minister since Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, sacked Moses Maladina in May last year.

The Australian Associated Press says Sir Michael faced a court challenge over the delay last month, prompting him to promise that a replacement would soon be appointed.

The challenge was brought by Morobe Governor Luther Wenge, who last month won a Supreme Court case overturning the legal immunities of Australian Police in PNG.