THE HIGHLY RESPECTED Community Development Minister, Dame Carol Kidu, was a notable absentee from the 14-member caretaker cabinet announced by new prime minister Peter O’Neill.
The rest of the ministry is expected to be announced this weekend, and Lady Kidu, who has carved out reputation for integrity and competence when not everyone around her has been so virtuous, is expected to be in it.
The cabinet members are all closely aligned with the move which deposed acting prime minister Sam Abal and which, after months of confusion, brought to an end the Somare era.
Among those appointed were Don Polye and William Duma who had both been dumped by Sam Abal – an act that eventually led to disgruntled members of the government joining them to topple Mr Abal. They sit alongside their former Somare cabinet colleagues Moses Maladina, Ano Pala and Job Pomat
Meanwhile Papua New Guinea's national court has rejected a bid to restrain the powers of the new government saying it would cause a constitutional crisis. Mr Abal had asked the court for an injunction preventing the Ogovernment from exercising its powers while he challenged his removal in the Supreme Court.
But Justice Les Gavara-Nanu refused the request saying such an injunction would effectively mean there would be no government. He said the public service would grind to a halt and there would be serious consequences for people across PNG.
It was the second failure in two days by Mr Abal to use the courts to try and return to the prime ministership.
The full caretaker cabinet is:
Peter O’Neill – Prime Minister
Belden Namah - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Forest and Climate Change
Don Polye - Finance and Treasury, and Lands and Physical Planning
William Duma - Petroleum and Energy, and Arts, Culture and Tourism
Bart Philemon - Public Service and Sports
Sir Puka Temu - Agriculture and Community Development
Sam Basil - Fisheries and Health HIV/AIDS
Francis Awesa - Works, Transport and Civil Aviation
Sir Mekere Morauta - State Enterprises
Dr Allan Marat - Justice and Attorney General, Labor and Industrial Relations
John Boito - Internal Security and Correctional Services
Theo Zurecnuoc - Education, Higher Education, Mining
Job Pomat - Bougainville Affairs, Inter-government Relations, Commerce and Industry and Housing
Moses Maladina - National Planning and Rural Development, and Defence
Ano Pala - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration
Sources: Post-Courier and Radio Australia