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PNG Anttorney - General and Justice Minister Kerenga Kua sacked

Port Moresby . PNG's ATTORNEY-General and Justice Minister Kerenga Kua has been sacked to add to the turmoil that the Government is currently in.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill confirmed Mr Kua’s decommissioning when asked by the Post-Courier after this newspaper was advised that instruments for the appointment of a new minister were signed at Government House late yesterday afternoon.

"Yes we did it (to sack him) because he went against NEC on section 145 amendments. NEC decision that bounds him but went publicly against it…his party NA supports the amendments," Mr O’Neill said in a message to this newspaper.

A statement released by the PM’s media unit last night confirmed Mr Kua’s sacking and the promotion of the Rigo MP Ano Pala as the new Attorney General and Justice Minister.

"It is unfortunate that I’ve had to take this decision at this time but I must do so in the interest of government and its stability," Mr O’Neill said in the statement.

According to the statement, Mr Kua wrote to the PM on June 12 opposing plans by the Government to amend section 145 of the Constitution, which, according to the PM, undermines Cabinet and Government solidarity.

Mr O’Neill thanked Mr Kua for his contribution in Cabinet since his appointment in August 2012 with his department charged with the responsibility of developing and bringing a number of legislation to parliament.

These include the legislation for the Kumul structure, the Sovereign Wealth Fund and others, which according to the PM were delayed becoming a concern.

Mr Kua was in his Sinasina-Yongomugl electorate when contacted last night and said he would travel to Port Moresby today or tomorrow.

The Attorney-General and Justice portfolio is one of the key ministries that was given to the National Alliance Party after the lobbying and consensus with the ruling People’s National Congress Party during the government formation period after the 2012 general election. NA party officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were advised of the decision by their coalition partners yesterday and were aware of moves to remove Mr Kua since April when there was a major cabinet reshuffle.

The amendments to section 145 which the PM made reference to relate to the controversial reforms that the Integrity Commission is currently promoting to reduce votes of no confidence and to give the ruling party a full term in office.
Pacnews/Post Courier
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