Friday, 23 April 2010 9:12 AM

PM Appoints New Ministers

The Prime Minister has replaced the five cabinet ministers he sacked on Wednesday.

Dr Derek Sikua has also made a slight reshuffle in his ministerial line-up, moving his Commerce Minister Francis Billy Hilly to the Finance portfolio.

Prime Minister Sikua announced the new ministerial appointments during a media briefing yesterday afternoon.

The new ministers are as follows:

-Hon. Francis Billy, Minister for Finance and Treasury, replaces Hon. Snyder Rini
-Hon. Peter Shanel Agovaka is now the new Minister for Commerce, Industry and Employment.
- Hon. Clement Kengava - Minister for Environment, Conservation and Meteorology, replaces Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo.
- Hon. Severino Nuaiasi - Minister for Fisheries and Marine resources, replaces Hon. Nollen Leni.
-Hon. Bernard Ghiro - Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, replaces Hon. Selwyn Riumana.
- Hon. Augustine Taneko - Minister for Justice and Legal Affairs, replacing Hon. Laurie Chan.

The new Ministers were sworn in by the Governor General at Government House yesterday afternoon.

Prime Minister Sikua also announced the terminations of several government backbenchers as chairpersons of various state-owned enterprises.

They are Hon. Peter Boyers, Hon. Walter Folotalu, Hon. Martin Sopaghe, Hon. Patrick Vahoe, Hon. Milikada, Hon. Siriako Usa.

The sacking last night of cabinet ministers Snyder Rini, Gordon Darcy Lilo, Selwyn Riumana, Nolen Leni and Laurie Chan, and SOE Chairpersons followed the defeat of the Constitution Political Parties Amendment Bill 2009 at its second reading yesterday.

Prime Minister Sikua has also sacked a Caucus employee, Wayne Maepio.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sikua says the two political reform bills would have addressed the kind of behaviour shown by his five former ministers and government backbenchers when bills were before parliament.

He said although some of the sacked ministers were present in the house and voted in favor of the bill, they did it to save face at the expense of members of the back-bench who avoided showing up in parliament.

Dr Sikua says such behaviour was selfish, and does not reflect well on the MPs as national leaders.

Speaking to the media yesterday afternoon, Dr Sikua also says government backbench MPs who did not support the two bills had displayed childish behaviour, and have shown the type of leaders "who cannot think for themselves and are susceptible to manipulation by others."

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