8 Dec 2010

PNG's Somare again replaces his deputy

4:03 pm on 8 December 2010

Papua New Guinea's prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, has replaced his second deputy in five months with the foreign minister, Sam Abal, replacing Don Polye.

It is one of a series of cabinet changes that also sees a former chief justice Sir Arnold Amet becoming the attorney general.

Our correspondent, Jonathon Tannos, says Mr Polye may have been dumped over his involvement in efforts by the previous deputy, Sir Puka Temu, to unseat Sir Michael last July.

"During the proposed vote of no confidence which resulted in his former deputy prime minister, Sir Puka Temu, being sacked, now Don Polye was also talking with Sir Puka Temu at that time. But he pulled out at the last minute to come back and support [Sir Michael] Somare virtually dissolving the proposal for the vote of no confidence in the prime minister. So some of these things are probably consequences of those previous moves."