30 Aug 2007

PNG Prime Minister plans constitutional change to expand size of cabinet

10:03 am on 30 August 2007

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, wants a constitutional change to allow for a larger Cabinet.

He announced his Cabinet lineup yesterday with Patrick Pruaitch as Finance Minister and Dr Puka Temu as Deputy Prime Minister.

Sir Michael has allocated ministry or vice-ministry positions to at least one member of each of 14 parties making up the coalition.

But our correspondent in Port Moresby, Alex Rheeney, says Sir Michael wants Cabinet to be bigger than the current 28 ministries.

"The Prime Minister announced in a press conference after the swearing in at Government House that he is actually looking at making amendments to the constitution to increase the size of the Cabinet in light of the fact that Papua New Guinea's population has increased since independence. So that is in a way to accommodate the interests of the other Members of Parliament who missed out on ministerial allocations."