PNC party stable and intact, says O’Neill

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By JEFFREY ELAPA
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says his People’s National Congress Party-led coalition government is stable and intact.
He said last week’s resignation by Finance Minister James Marape did not affect Cabinet and the Government as he had “enough capable members to take over”.
He was accompanied to Government House yesterday for the swearing-in of Sam Basil as Finance Minister and Koni Iguan as Minister for Communication and Information Technology by some cabinet ministers and coalition MPs.
“My Government is very stable and you can see from the numbers here, unless someone is blind,” he said.
He said most ministers had held the same ministries in the past seven years “to maintain stability and consistency”.
“I have deliberately done that so that I want them to gain as much experience as they can in those ministries and lift their performance,” he said.
“You can see the fruits of that experience now in the delivery of services, infrastructure, growth in the economy, creation of jobs for our people and attracting foreign direct investments into the country.
“Those are things the Government is doing today so you can see the experience is worthy and healthy for the country.”
He said he had not discussed with Marape his “lack of trust” comment. “I have absolute confidence in all our ministers.
“If there was any concern then he (Marape) should have raised it with me. I have no knowledge about those trust issues he referred to.
“I have confidence in Marape’s ability and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Pangu Party leader and Minister for Finance Sam Basil also reaffirmed his party’s commitment to O’Neill’s leadership and that they would remain loyal until 2022.

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