4 Aug 2011

PNG's new PM includes former top ministers in his new cabinet

7:15 am on 4 August 2011

Papua New Guinea's new Prime Minister has named several former top ministers from the previous administration of Sir Michael Somare in his new cabinet.

On Tuesday, government MPs joined with the opposition to have the Prime Minister's office declared vacant because of Sir Michael's absense due to ill-health, before voting to replace Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal with former treasurer, Peter O'Neill.

Johnny Blades reports

"Peter O'Neil is unveiling a vastly experienced cabinet line-up. He's indicated several ministers dumped recently by Sam Abal will be in the mix. Ex-foreign affairs minister Don Polye and former resources and petroleum minister William Duma are to return. Former prime ministers Sir Mekere Morauta and Sir Julius Chan are also expected to take up roles, along with former attorney general Allan Marat who was dumped controversially last year as well as Sir Michael's former deputy Sir Puka Temu. Former longtime Somare administration treasurer Bart Philemon is likely to be in the front bench too. A full list of portfolios is expected by the weekend."