Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele.


PRIME Minister Jeremiah Manele said that his Government for National Unity and Transformation (GNUT) will prioritize merit-based appointments over political appointments (PAs) in filling key roles within the administration.

“The last DCCG government had about 35 to 40 political appointees; now the focus of the GNUT is to lower that number based on merits so that they can engage in implementing government policies. So that is an important requirement that we will stick to,” PM Manele said during his first official press conference held on Friday, May 10 May. “We are cognizant of that, and we acknowledge the importance of choosing PA’s or political appointees on the basis of merit. That will be done in the coming weeks.”

He stated that the Caucus will be given the opportunity to have a say on the appointment of PAs, and the GNUT will make sure and do its best to keep the numbers as required.

The Prime Minister told local journalists that the appointment of cabinet ministers was done in consultation with members of the GNUT coalition’s party leaders, which comprised the OUR Party, Kadere, and SIPFP.

“I think this is the first time that I was told that we were able to put together a cabinet in a much faster period compared to the past.

“It’s done smoothly. I mean, everybody, as usual, has their preferences, and we manage to get to some understanding that this is not for their own interest, but I think in every appointment, what is foremost is the national interest.

“So we put people in ministries that we believe they will continue. For example, there were ministers who served in those ministries in the last DCCG government because there were existing reforms that were yet to be completed.

“It’s important for them to carry on. But there are also new ministers who we will believe can perform in those ministries where they also have strength and balance, which I take into account as well.

“The GNUT held a caucus cabinet meeting to brief ministers and government backbenchers on Thursday, May 2, as the first caucus meeting for this year.

“It is after this caucus meeting that the government will start appointing government employees or political appointees. As I have said, I have re-appointed the special secretary to the PM, Dr. Jimmie Rodgers as well as the private secretary to the PM, Ronald Fugui to serve in my private office. The Cabinet will also have its first meeting on Thursday, May 16.

“The next business to attend is the parliament meeting, when all members of parliament will be taking their oaths before electing the speaker and deputy speaker,” Manele said.

PM Manele also announced that he has written to his Excellency the Governor General (GG), suggesting the possible date for the first meeting of the 12th parliament soon by proclamation published in the Gazette in accordance with Section 72 of the Constitution.

“After the election of the speaker and deputy speaker, I intend to move a motion of special adjournment for parliament to adjourn to a day in June. As some of you here already know, the term of office for his Excellency the GG will expire this year on July 7, 2024. Therefore, when Parliament sits in June, it will elect the GG. I intend to move a motion to adjourn parliament. This would give an opportunity for members of parliament to speak on the motion and thank their constituents for electing them,’’ he said.


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