By JEFFREY ELAPA
POMIO MP Elias Kapavore was at the swearing-in of the Chimbu Health Authority when Prime Minister James Marape announce that he was dropped as Health and HIV/AIDS Minister on Friday.
His Peoples National Congress Party (PNC) colleague, Kandep MP Alfred Manase said he was only advised that he would lose his job as Labour and Industrial Relations Minister a day before the decision.
The third PNC Koroba-Lake Kopiago MP, Petrus Thomas, did not want to comment on being dropped as Immigration and Border Security Minister.
Alotau MP Charles Abel, a former PNC leader and now with Our Development Party (ODP), was also left out of Marape’s new 33-member Cabinet. He was Finance and Rural Development Minister.
Kapavore said although he was not consulted by the prime minister, “I knew this was coming, sooner or later. It is the prerogative of the prime minister to appoint his Cabinet members. Despite this, I have achieved much in the past five months. He said although he knew the changes were coming, “I have remained faithful to PNC as requested by my people”.
The National learnt that PNC leaders had met and agreed to remain united and loyal to their party chief (Peter O’Neill) and be committed to go into the 2022 General Election.
O’Neill, when contacted said his party members and leaders remained united and loyal to PNC.
Abel also thanked Marape for the opportunity to serve his Government for a short period.
Abel, who was also Treasury Minister in the PNC-led Government, is now with the ODP.
“In this short time, we have focused on payroll reform and brought a comprehensive submission to the Cabinet, appointed an independent and professional board for the National Procurement Commission which has been endorsed by Cabinet, the Integrated Financial System rollout to districts and provinces, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation audit and asset disposal exercise, increase of non-tax revenue, government office rental reform, and annual Close of Accounts process reforms.
“I congratulate the incoming ministers and acknowledge the outgoing ones,” Abel added.
By JEFFREY ELAPA