8 Dec 2010

PNG government reshuffled as Somare ruling looms

2:34 pm on 8 December 2010

The Papua New Guinea government has been suddenly reshuffled.

The prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, who was in Sydney on Monday to address the PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference, has cancelled his trip to Mexico for climate change talks in Cancun and then immediately returned to Port Moresby for urgent talks.

The Post Courier reports that the deputy prime minister Don Polye has been replaced by a former foreign minister, Sam Abal.

This comes as Sir Michael is waiting to hear if he'll face a leadership tribunal for alleged impropriety in office.

He must step down if he is referred to a leadership tribunal, which would mean the new deputy Mr Abal would become acting prime minister.