The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has announced that the Member for Aitape-Lumi Open, will now serve as Minister without portfolio.
Prime Minister O’Neill said the decision to relieve the former Treasurer of his portfolio was made in order to maintain confidence in the economy and ensure responsible administration of the Treasury portfolio.
“The Honourble Patrick Pruatich has been relieved of Treasury responsibilities and will remain as minister without portfolio until after the elections,” the Prime Minister said.
“Following recent comments, that have only served to undermine the work and function of the Treasury, his position has become untenable.
“These recent claims on the economy, for which he has had sole responsibility as Treasurer for the past five years of this Government, have undermined his role and credibility.
“Further, recent misleading comments on election funding, which was also under his ministerial delegation, have been driven by political motivation over substance.
“Minister Pruaitch is an experienced member of Cabinet and should know all of the established protocols associated with being a member of the National Executive Council and the Executive Government.
“In this role he is expected to behave in a mannerpolitical interests.
“His recent announcement that he wishes to be elected Prime Minister has clouded his judgement and prevents him from continuing to hold on to this position.
“Leaders have to take ownership of the issues and outcomes for which they are responsible, rather than abandoning their prior decisions and actions for political convenience.
“This decision is regrettable, but necessary, in order to maintain confidence in the economy and its continued growth.
“I wish him well in his election nomination, and hope that common sense will prevail during this period where even grown men are driven to making foolish and misguided decisions for the sake of politics.”
The Prime Minister will have responsibility for Treasury and consult with Coalition Partners as to the immediate future of this portfolio allocation.