Who will be deputy PM?

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday 06th August, 2012

KANDEP MP and T.H.E. Party leader Don Polye  retained his Finance and Treasury portfolio yesterday, fueling speculation as to who the deputy prime minister might be.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill allocated ministries to his caretaker cabinet yesterday after People’s National Congress party caucus met to deliberate on government policies and the caretaker cabinet.
O’Neill and his caretaker ministers were sworn-in last Friday and yesterday he announced some of their portfolios. On Wednesday, the full cabinet and the deputy prime minister will be appointed.
O’Neill announced 10 portfolios yesterday.
Polye, whose party is the second largest in the coalition, was given Finance and Treasury, Correctional Service, Labour and Industrial Relations and Immigration and Transport.
As prime minister and chairman of the cabinet, O’Neill has the National Planning ministry under his belt for the next 24 hours.  Others are:
l    Mao Zeming (Finschhafen MP) Minister for  Fisheries and Marine Resource, Health and HIV/AIDS, Family Affair and Youth, Religion and Gender and  Community Development;
l    Patrick Pruiatch (Aitape-Lumi MP) Minister for Housing and Urban, Provincial and Local Level Government and Forest;
l    Charles Abel (Alotau MP) Minister for Commerce and Industry, Small to Medium Term Business, Justice and Attorney General, Communication and Information Technology;
l    John Pundari (Kopiam-Ambum MP) Minister for Environment and Conservation, Climate Change and Civil Aviation,
l    Sir Puka Temu (Abau MP) Minster for Public Service, Agriculture and Livestock, Foreign Affairs and Trade;
l    James Marape (Tari-Pori MP) Minister for  Implementation, Lands and Physical Planning Education, Works and Higher Education, Science, Research and Technology,
l    Ben Micah (Kavieng MP) Minister for Sports and South Pacific Games and Mining and State Enterprise,
l    William Duma (Hagen MP) Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Defence,Tourism, Arts and Culture, Autonomy and Autonomy Region (including  Bougainville Affairs).
O’Neill said: “There is no lobbying for the deputy prime minster’s post, we have already got the deputy prime minister but that will all be announced on Wednesday.”
You would be surprised,” O’Neill said.
He said it was important to have the cabinet announced because of the November budget.
“We are now structuring the government so that all ministers are able to participate in the November budget. We have spent three months in elections already and we do not have the time to go through and delay any further formation of this government.
“We want the ministers to fully participate in the formation of the budget. We also want to introduce a good number of legislations and policy within these two sessions of parliament this month and in November,” O’Neill said.