4 Apr 2006

PNG cabinet re-shuffles strips Philemon of finance

4:14 pm on 4 April 2006

The Papua New Guinea Treasurer Bart Philemon has been stripped of the Finance portfolio and Housing Minister Atimeng Buhupe has been dumped in the latest Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Philemon retains Treasury but his Finance portfolio has been given to Forest Minister Patrick Pruaitch, who also has the National Planning and Monitoring Ministry after Arthur Somare stepped aside following his referral to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the former internal security minister Bire Kimisopa has been moved to the Justice Ministry.

Former justice minister Mark Maipakai now heads Housing while Alphonse Willie takes over as Internal Security Minister.

Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has warned that there will be a bigger reshuffle later but has refused to give any dates.

Sir Michael says the government was strategically organising itself to deliver its election promises 14 months away from the general elections.