Somare: Abal is new deputy PM

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 10, 2010

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday confirmed Wabag MP Sam Abal as the new deputy prime minister, replacing Kandep MP Don Polye.
He announced the changes in a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle, ending speculations in some sections of the PNG media that Polye was still second in charge.
It was swap positions for the two – Polye taking foreign affairs and immigration and Abal also assuming the works ministry.
Other changes Sir Michael made official yesterday were Sir Arnold Amet as attorney-general and justice minister; Ano Pala – agriculture and trade; Fidelis Semoso – Bougainville affairs; Moses Maladina – public service; and Francis Potape – transport and administrative services.
The prime minister made the announcement at a media conference at his Morauta Haus office soon after Abal returned from Sydney, Australia, where he was attending the 11th Mining and Petroleum Investment conference.
Among those present to witness the occasion were Mark Maipakai, Maladina, Enga Governor Peter Ipatas and newly appointed vice-minister for planning Philip Kikala.
Before the announcement, Abal was sworn in as deputy prime minister at the Government Haus by the acting governor-general, Paul Tiensten.