Hickey ‘better’ and set to resume work

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AGRICULTURE and Livestock Minister and Member for Bogia, John Hickey, says he is getting better and will be ready to resume work soon.
Mr Hickey, who is the MP for Bogia, told The National in Madang yesterday that he had not been stripped of his ministry as was reported recently.
He said Prime Minster Sir Michael Somare was taking care of his ministry when he became ill last year and had to undergo chemotherapy.
Mr Hickey, who was seen chewing betelnut with his electorate leaders at his rest house, said he was getting better each day and was prepared to take back his ministry.
He said he was still a member of the Momase NA bloc, by far the most stable of the four NA regional groups.
Mr Hickey said that he had met with Sir Michael recently and was assured that his ministry would be returned when he was ready to resume work.
“I’m with the Government, whenever my health problem is over, and it’s my ministry,” he said.
When asked what he thought about the planned Cabinet reshuffle, Mr Hickey said that it was Sir Michael’s prerogative to make changes for the sake of stability.
When asked about the move by Minister for Treasury and Finance Patrick Pruaitch to challenge the Ombudsman Commission’s referral to the leadership tribunal, Mr Hickey said that it was Mr Pruaitch’s decision and his right to challenge his referral by the Ombudsman Commission to the leadership tribunal.