The National, Tuesday, June 7th 2011
ACTING Prime Minister Sam Abal yesterday confirmed the sacking of two senior cabinet ministers.
Gone are Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration Don Polye and Minister for Petroleum and Energy William Duma.
“I have exercised my full powers as acting prime minister to remove the portfolio responsibilities from Polye and Duma,” Abal said.
“However, they still remain members of their parties in government.”
Polye and Duma, in a joint press conference, expressed disbelief and said they had not been informed of their removal as ministers (see page 2 report).
“I signed instruments of revocation of these portfolios last week,” Abal said.
“I am considering filling in the vacancies that have been created.”
Abal said stability of government was paramount.
“Discipline and control are needed to maintain assertive leadership.
“Over the few months that I have been tasked by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to lead government, discipline has been lacking in cabinet.
“There must be cohesion, consolidation and solidarity in government.
“We are a coalition government and we must have the zeal to work together for the good of our people.
“I have observed ministers causing insubordination to the extent that they are not cooperating in the job of governing this country for the common good of our people.
“They are not putting national interest before their own.
“It is my duty to ensure discipline in cabinet is maintained without allowing personal leadership interests to stand in the way, and for cooperative leadership from all coalition partners, for the common good of all Papua New Guineans.
“I am forced to demonstrate leadership authority to make decisions that satisfies more people than just a few.
“I must demonstrate control of government as well as for the sake of the country,” Abal said.