21 Dec 2004

PNG Prime Minister withdraws ministerial powers from State Enterprises Minister

11:31 am on 21 December 2004

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Michael Somare, is reported to withdrawn ministerial powers from State Enterprises and Information Minister, Puka Temu.

The Australian Associated Press says the move is connected to the on going dispute between over the sale of PNG Telikom.

Sir Michael said he had assumed responsibilities for Mr Temu's portfolios and that he would remain a minister without portfolio until further notice.

The Prime Minister said he had also revoked appointments to the Telikom board made by Mr Temu after he sacked the previous board earlier this month.

Sir Michael said Florian Gubon had been reappointed as board chairman along with the rest of his directors, .

The Minister had sacked the previous board for defying directives on the sale of Telikom to Zimbabwe's Econet Wireless Group.

Sir Michael said he had acted to avert an imminent disruption to PNG's telecommunications industry by union action.