13 Nov 2003

PNG re-shuffle in line with coalition agreement

4:22 pm on 13 November 2003

The Papua New Guinea prime minister has appointed the former fisheries minister Andrew Baing as his deputy in line with an agreement signed with his coalition partner.

Sir Michael Somare stood down his deputy Allan Marat after he was dumped as leader of the People's Progressive Party.

Our correspondent, Peter Niesi, says pressure was applied to Sir Michael to honour the coalition agreements and remove Dr Marat.

"He would keep Dr Marat as his deputy prime minister since it was his prerogative who he appoints but a lot of pressure has been exerted on him and the National Alliance. They had been highlighting to the prime minister that that agreement was for the parliamentary leader, and not Dr Allan Marat per se, to take on that position."

In the reshuffle, the labour minister, Peter Yama, also lost his ministry.