Sacked PNC Cabinet members will sit in middle benches, says O’Neill


THE four People’s National Congress MPs who have been sacked from Cabinet will sit in the middle benches in Parliament, says party leader Peter O’Neill.
He told The National that all PNC MPs were still part of the Government.
The four are Richard Maru (National Planning and Monitoring) sacked a month ago, Elias Kapavore (Health), Petrus Thomas (Immigration and Border Security) and Alfred Manase (Labour and Industrial Relations).
Kapavore will hand over the ministry to Jelta Wong tomorrow.
Also out of Cabinet is former deputy prime minister Charles Abel who contested the 2017 general election on a PNC ticket.
He later joined the Our Development Party. The members of the Peoples National Congress still holding ministries are Nick Kuman (Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology), Immigration and Border Security Minister Westly Nukindj, Works Minister Michael Nali, Public Service Minister Soroi Eoe, and National Housing Minister Justin Tkatchenko, although he recently moved to join Powes Parkop’s Social Democratic Party.
His move is yet to be confirmed by the Registrar of Political Parties.
O’Neill said his party members were united and committed to the party.
“It was this confidence in our capacity that made Marape move out of Laguna to the Grand Papua Hotel so that we could build the numbers for him to form Government. James Marape would not be Prime Minister today if PNC did not bring together the grand coalition that voted for him.
“ PNC is also the party that trusted and promoted Marape through the ranks of ministers, and gave him immense authority over the economic governance of our nation for the past eight years.”