Former PM removed from Government benches

Leader of the People’s National Congress and former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has been asked to move to the Opposition bench.

Prime Minister James Marape said this following the official swearing-in ceremony of Kavieng MP Ian Ling-Stuckey as the new Treasurer.

Marape said the ‘Take Back PNG’ agenda requires a unified team of like-minded leaders and requires freedom for Pangu Pati to lead without any influence from PNC.

“Upon emerging from the Crown Hotel on the morning of May 30, 2019, an understanding had been reached. However, Opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch and Vanimo Green MP Belden Namah’s subsequent nomination of O’Neill, together with his initial acceptance of that nomination, cast a shadow of doubt over the agreement and their ability to contribute to the Marape-Steven Government agenda,” says Mr Marape.

He added that with the ongoing court cases and attempts to undermine his Government, PANGU Pati has requested the release of PNC from the Government benches to the Opposition.

“With respect to the other PNC Party members, they are welcome to remain in Government as Ministers and individual leaders, unless they opt to remain with PNC and thereby join the Opposition.”

Meantime, several members of the Opposition have also joined the Marape-Steven Government today.

They are:

  • Walter Schnaubelt - MP for Namatanai;
  • Allan Bird - Governor for East Sepik
  • Gary Juffa - Governor for Oro

Bulolo MP Sam Basil will now replaces Richard Maru as Planning Minister while Ling-Stuckey will be the Treasurer.

Freddy Mou