Abal announces reshuffle
Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal has announced a major Cabinet reshuffle following the sacking of two senior ministers. Abal has been leading the country since the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, left for heart surgery in Singapore.
In a reshuffle intended to strengthen the National Alliance Party ahead of next year’s elections, Patrick Pruaitch has been reappointed to the Cabinet as the Treasurer and Finance Minister, while his predecessor, Peter O’Neill is now at Works and Transport. Pruaitch’s appointment is a controversial one as he has been investigated for irregularities over election expenses. Former Agriculture Minister, Ano Pala, is now in charge of foreign affairs and immigration, whilst Francis Potape replaces William Duma as the Petroleum and Energy minister.
The reshuffle would appear to confirm that Sir Michael will not return to politics following his ill-health. He has led the country for the last 50 years.