6 May 2002

Sani Lakatani remains near the centre of power in Niue

5:39 pm on 6 May 2002

Niue's dumped premier has been made the country's deputy leader.

Sani Lakatani was dropped as the leader of the ruling Niue People's Party soon after last month's election and replaced by Young Vivian.

Mr Vivian, who was last week elected as premier, has now announced his cabinet line up with Mr Lakatani as his deputy.

He says the party dropped Mr Lakatani as its leader because of his tendency not to consult over decisions.

But he says Mr Lakatani still has a lot to offer.

"well I think that he's still got a lot of work to do and he's a very hard working person, a very talented person and there's a need to have some continuity on some of the major projects that we are doing at the present moment."

Niue's Premier Young Vivian.

Businessman Toke Talagi, the leader of several independents, has been made finance minister.

He will also be in charge of Education and Health.

And Bill Vakaafi-Motufou is the new Minister of Works, Agriculture and Fisheries.