7 Jun 2011

Uncertainty over sidelined PNG leaders

3:40 pm on 7 June 2011

Papua New Guinea's acting Prime Minister has sacked two of his ministers, despite their claims they were an integral part of the government.

The Petroleum Minister William Duma has been dismissed by Sam Abal reportedly because of concerns over his management of land ownership issues in relation to the LNG project.

Mr Abal has also moved against the Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Don Polye after an ongoing battle between the two over leadership of the Highlands grouping of the National Alliance Party.

The editor of the Post Courier Yehiura Hriehwazi says the two ministers defended themselves at a press conference before their sacking, and it remains to be seen how well they'll accept it.

"It's hard to say really, in the past experience ministers who were sacked manoeuvred from the back rows to try to get back in so what they are up to right now, we are not sure."

Yehiura Hriehwazi says the government's position remains secure, despite a court clearing the way for the Public Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare to face a leadership tribunal.