Reshuffle ‘will affect Govt programmes’

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A MAJOR Government reshuffle would affect some of the Government’s programmes, according to leading political scientist, Dr Alphonse Gelu.
“The reshuffle would greatly impact on the programmes instituted by ministers who have performed well in their ministries,” he said.
Dr Gelu, a senior research fellow at the National Research Institute, was reacting to reports that Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare would be reshuffling his Cabinet soon.
Sir Michael reportedly met his coalition partners on Wednesday and told them that they could expect changes to the makeup of the Cabinet.
Analysing these developments, Dr Gelu cited as an example that ministers in the NA-led Government have worked well together in a number of initiatives – one that stands out is the PNG LNG project.
“This is a programme that saw different ministers collaborating at different levels to get the project going. This was a positive indicator of seeing ministers working together.
“The collaboration has been effective, which has resulted in the project moving ahead, especially with regard to the financiers of the project.
“This collaboration has also given these ministers certain skills in negotiations and so forth – that is what we want our ministers to be, highly skilled negotiators to negotiate on behalf of the people of this country.”
Dr Gelu said the second was the 2050 vision.
“This is an NA-led initiative and resources have been used for putting this plan into place. The last thing we want to see is this plan being put aside,” he said.
Dr Gelu noted that housing needs for public servants, the roll-out of the new inter-governmental funding arrangement, the land task force are some examples of good programmes that might be affected by the reshuffle.
Dr Gelu said that while it was Sir Michael’s prerogative to undertake a reshuffle, only after an assessment of possible outcomes was undertaken would a reshuffle be effective.
Negative aspects of the reshuffle may be that disgruntled coalition partners might move camps, a vote of no-confidence may be imminent and the removal of the best-performing ministers.
Dr Gelu said while the Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) imposed certain restrictions, “history has shown that regardless of the law, a government can be replaced by another”.