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Belden Namah Among Five New Ministers Sworn into PNG Cabinet

 Belden Namah, former Opposition leader and Vanimo-Green MP, was among five new ministers sworn into Papua New Guinea's Cabinet yesterday. Namah was appointed Minister for Culture and Tourism, with additional duties overseeing border security affairs.

In a minor Cabinet reshuffle, Miki Kaeok (Wapenamanda) was appointed Finance Minister, Unggai-Bena MP Kinoka Feo took on the role of Higher Education Minister, Dr. Kobby Bomareo (Tewai-Siassi) became Minister for National Housing, and Kerema MP Thomas Opa was named Minister for Energy, as well as caretaker Minister for Petroleum.

Belden Namah, Vanimo -Green MP

The swearing-in ceremony was conducted by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae at Government House in Port Moresby. Prime Minister James Marape, Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso, State ministers Solan Mirisim (Works and Highways, and Telefomin MP) and Joe Sungi (Public Service, and Nuku MP), along with governors Chris Haiveta (Gulf) and Enga’s Sir Peter Ipatas, were present to witness the event.

Prime Minister Marape praised the Government caucus for their support in selecting leaders based on merit, regional balance, and capability, ensuring a stable government. He congratulated the new ministers and expressed his eagerness to work with them on core Government policies.

Namah’s new role includes the Culture and Tourism portfolio, along with responsibilities for border security. Marape stated, “Namah will take up the vacant portfolio of Culture and Tourism and, more importantly, we will assign him an element of border security to focus on that area.”

The Prime Minister highlighted the historical significance of appointing an MP from Kerema to a Cabinet position for the first time and stated his intention to work closely with Minister Opa on the current issues facing PNG Power. “We still have a couple of slots in our Cabinet; 39 in total including the Prime Minister’s chair, and these five members bring the number to 37,” Marape said.

Marape also mentioned the availability of vice-ministerial positions and noted that Opa, Feo, and Kaeok, who were previously vice-ministers, had now been promoted to full Cabinet roles. The Prime Minister will continue to oversee the mining portfolio directly, while the petroleum ministry remains on a caretaker basis until Jimmy Maladina returns from Australia.

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