22 Jun 2011

PNG's Abal names replacements for Polye and Duma

12:41 pm on 22 June 2011

Replacements have been named for the two ministers sacked by Papua New Guinea's acting prime minister Sam Abal two weeks ago.

The appointments have been made as part of a major cabinet reshuffle.

The former Foreign Minister Don Polye has been replaced by Ano Pala, while Francis Potape has replaced William Duma as Petroleum and Energy Minister.

The new cabinet line-up also includes Patrick Pruaitch as Finance Minister, Peter O'Neil as Minister of Works, Philip Kikala as Agriculture Minister, and Charles Abel as Minister assisting the Prime Minister.

Post Courier reporter Peter Korugl says Mr Pruaitch's appointment comes despite his suspension as finance minister last year after he was referred to a leadership tribunal over allegations of double-dipping, improper receipts and misappropriation of grants.

"The surprise appointment is Patrick Pruaitch. Patrick has made his intention known that he wants to come back into government as Minister for Finance and Treasury. Now who doesn't want to be the Minister for Finance and Treasury when we are getting into an election year."

Peter Korugl says the Supreme Court has since overruled Mr Pruaitch's suspension, and Mr Abal is trying to shore up support by reappointing him.