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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said Wednesday he had “decommissioned” Marape for having failed to formally tender his resignation.
Basil’s appointment is under the auspices of Pangu, which has its own internal problems, being the second largest political party in government with 14 MPs.
It is understood Basil’s appointment is in anticipation of a formal announcement of his own political party any time now in which all the Pangu MPs will join.
The Registrar of Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu said the formal registration of Basil’s new political party was still being processed.
At the same time, Pangu Pati executives said they had no control over the decision of the party MPs on whether to join Mr Basil under the new political party.
But amid all this, two other Pangu Pati MPs were “bestowed” two important portfolios yesterday – Markham MP Koni Iguan taking over as the Communications and Information Technology Minister a post previously held by Basil.
Basil however, retains the Energy portfolio in his new job as Finance Minister.
Another Pangu Member, Rigo MP Lekwa Gure had been appointed as the new chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, taking over from Iguan.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill officially announced the appointments at Government House Wednesday, flanked by coalition partners, ministers and departmental heads.
“We are very happy to announce the appointment of Koni Iguan, who is a second term Member for Markham, a serving Member from 2007 to 2012 and now 2017 and onwards,” O’Neill said.
“He is an experienced Member of Parliament and has been the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, and I wish to now announce that he will be the Minister taking over from Sam Basil as Minister for Communications.
And Sam Basil as the leader of the second largest party in government will move into the senior responsibility of Finance Minister; he will also be responsible for looking after Kumul Petroleum and Kumul Mining which is a very significant investment on behalf of our people by the State in these key sectors,” he said.
O’Neill also said the new Leader for Government Business will be Minister for Forest, Douglas Tomuriesa, who is Member for Kiriwina-Goodenough, again a second term Member of Parliament, an experienced MP who is capable of managing the smooth running of the parliamentary affairs.
He also thanked former finance minister James Marape for his support in the past seven years.
“It is his wish to move on so we respect the decision. And of course the government will continue to manage the affairs of the country and we look forward to the coming session of Parliament on May 7,” O’Neill said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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