After a brief wait, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has finally revealed his 33-Member National Executive Council (NEC) – or Cabinet.
The line up is heavily dominated by O’Neill’s winning People’s National Congress which boasts 13 Ministers. This is followed by Don Polye’s THE Party which has 4; William Duma’s United Resources Party has 3.
Patrick Pruaitch’s National Alliance, Sir Julius Chan’s People’s Progress Party, and Peter Ipatas’ People’s Party all have 2 ministers each; and Our Development Party, United Party, People’s Indigenous Party, People’s Democratic Movement, and Social Democratic Party are all represented by 1 ministerial post each.
Rounding up the 33 are 2 candidates who ran as Independents in PNG Election 2012 – Hon Richard Maru and Hon Kerenga Kua.
Of the 33, only one is a woman – Hon Loujaya Toni of Lae who will most likely take over Dame Carol Kidu’s old portfolio, Community Development.
In addition, it is interesting to note that of the 33, ten are first term MPs while eleven have served three terms or more in the Haus Tambaran. The remaining twelve are all in their second term.
Geographically, 10 are from the Highlands Region; 10 are from Southern; 8 are from Momase; and 5 are from New Guinea Islands. ‘Regionalism’ has again played a part in the decision-making of O’Neill and his coalition partners.
There are six party leaders in the 33, with three others – Sir Julius Chan (PPP), Paias Wingti (PDM) and Peter Ipatas (PP) – all opting to not push their claim for ministerial portfolios, but instead have nominated younger MPs to take their places.
Here are the 33 – I’ve listed them very loosely in what I perceive to be the pecking order based on their experience, background and standing in their respective political parties:
1. Peter O’Neill (PNC) – 3rd Term; Ialibu-Pangia Open
2. Leo Dion (THE) – 3rd Term; East New Britain Provincial
3. Don Polye (THE) – 3rd Term; Kandep Open
4. Dr Puka Temu (ODP) – 3rd Term; Abau Open
5. William Duma (URP) – 3rd Term; Mt Hagen Open
6. Patrick Pruaitch (NA) – 3rd Term; Aitape-Lumi Open
7. Charles Abel (PNC) – 2nd Term; Alotau Open
8. James Marape (PNC) – 2nd Term; Tari Open
9. John Pundari (PP) – 2nd Term; Kompiam-Ambum Open
10. Mao Zemming (PNC) – 4th Term; Tewai-Siassi Open
11. Ben Micah (PPP) – 3rd Term; Kavieng Open
12. Rimbink Pato (UP) – 1st Term; Wapenamanda Open
13. Byron Chan (PPP) – 3rd Term; Namatanai Open
14. Jimmy Miringtoro (PNC) – 2nd Term; South Bougainville Open
15. Francis Awesa (PNC) – 2nd Term; Imbonggu Open
16. Ano Pala (PNC) – 2nd Term; Rigo Open
17. Benny Allan (PNC) – 3rd Term; Unggai-Bena Open
18. Mark Maipaikai (THE) – 3rd Term; Kikori Open
19. Loujaya Open (PIP) – 1st Term; Lae Open
20. Boka Kondra (PNC) – 2nd Term; North Fly Open
21. Paru Aihi (PNC) – 2nd Term; Kairuku-Hiri Open
22. Steven Kamma (URP) – 2nd Term; Central Bougainville Open
23. David Arore (THE) – 2nd Term; Ijivitari Open
24. Jim Samatab (NA) – 2nd Term; Wewak Open
25. Dr Fabian Pok (URP) – 2nd Term; North Waghi Open
26. Micheal Malabag (PNC) – 1st Term; Moresby North West Open
27. Richard Maru (Independent) – 1st Term; Yangoru-Saussia Open
28. Kerenga Kua (Independent) – 1st Term; Sinasina-Yongomugl Open
29. Davis Stephen (PP) – 1st Term; Esa’ala Open
30. Nixon Duban (PNC) – 1st Term; Madang Open
31. Tommy Tomscoll (PDM) – 1st Term; Middle Ramu Open
32. Paul Isikiel (PNC) – 1st Term; Markham Open
33. Justin Tkatchenko (SDP) – 1st Term; Moresby South Open
Source: The Garamut