By MALUM NALU
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has named an eight-member caretaker Cabinet to run the affairs of the nation until a full team is appointed later this month.
He will look after Bougainville Affairs while his deputy, three-term Alotau MP Charles Abel, has five portfolios to oversee: Treasury, Forestry, Civil Aviation, Sports and APEC, plus Lands and Physical Planning.
“We intend to appoint a full Cabinet before Parliament resumes on Aug 22,” O’Neill said.
The other six sworn in by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae yesterday were:
- Hagen MP and United Resources Party leader William Duma – in charge of Petroleum and Energy, Housing and Urbanisation, Public Enterprise and State Investments, Transport, and Agriculture and Livestock;
- Abau MP Sir Puka Temu – in charge of Public Service, Education, Health, Higher Education Research Science and Innovation;
- Tari-Pori MP James Marape – in charge of Finance, Fisheries, Police, Works and Implementation, and Attorney-General and Justice;
- Yangoru-Saussia MP Richard Maru – in charge of National Planning and Monitoring, Labour and Industrial Relations, Trade Commerce and Industry, plus Communication Information and Technology;
- Wapenamenda MP and United Party leader Rimbink Pato – in charge of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Correctional Services, Defence, and Community Development Youth and Religion; and,
- Kainantu MP and deputy People’s Progress Party leader Johnson Tuke – in charge of Mining, Culture and Tourism, Provincial Affairs, Environment and Conservation and Climate Change.
Meanwhile, O’Neill told The National his first day back in office after the hectic general election period was “very busy”.
“I’m a bit tired from being busy. But that’s what we were elected to do for the country,” he said.
O’Neill said he would be supported by the caretaker Cabinet to manage the country.