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New Bougainville president forms a 14 member Cabinet

Residents hold a Bougainville flag at a polling station during a non-binding independence referendum in Arawa, on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville, 26 November 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Melvin Levongo). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PORT MORESBY, Oct 2, 2020, RNZ. The new President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, Ishmael Toroama, has named a 14 strong Cabinet lineup from the pool of 39 MPs elected last month, Radio New Zealand reported.

New Bougainille President, Ismael ToroamaNew Bougainille President, Ismael Toroama Photo: ABG
He included a mix of old and new, saying promoting young talent helps to create a vibrant and energetic environment, encouraging innovation.

Toroama will head Inter-government Affairs, along with Communications and Media.

Vice President Patrick Nisira will be Minister for Economic Development.

The Finance Minister is Mathias Salas, while Ezekiel Massat is Justice Minister, Attorney General and overseeing Post-Referendum Dialogue.

The new Police Minister is Thomas Tarii, and former vice president Raymond Masono becomes Health Minister.

Two of the four women elected in the recent election have been included in Cabinet, with Theonila Roka Matbob handed the education portfolio and Yolande Geraldine Paul in charge of the Ministry of Marine Resources and Primary Industries.

One of the big tasks for the Cabinet will be dealing with how next to proceed after last year’s referendum, which heavily favoured independence from PNG.

The full line up is:

Hon. Ishmael Toroama: President and Minister for Inter-government Affairs, President and Bougainville Executive Council, Media and Communications

Hon. Patrick Nisira: Vice President and Minister for Economic Development (Member for Halia Constituency)

Hon. Mathias Salas: Minister for Finance and Treasury (Member for North Nasioi Constituency)

Hon. Ezekiel Massat: Minister for Justice, Attorney General and Post Referendum Dialogue and Consultation (Member for Tonsu Constituency)

Hon. Thomas Tarii: Minister for Police and Correctional Services (Member for South Bougainville Veterans)

Hon. Rodney Osioko: Minister for Mineral and Energy Resources (Member for Kokoda Constituency)

Hon. Dr Joseph Kim Swuamaru: Minister for Technical Services (Member for Kopi Constituency)

Hon. Raymond Masono: Minister for Health (Member for Atolls Constituency)

Hon. Thomas Pataaku: Minister for Community Government (Member for Ramu Constituency)

Hon. Theonila Roka Matbob: Minister for Education (Member for Ioro Constituency)

Hon. Thompson Gitovea: Minister for Community Development (Member for Taonita-Teop Constituency)

Hon. Melvin Igiras Wilolopa: Minister for Public Service (Member for Lato Constituency)

Hon. Robert Hamal Sawa: Minister for Lands, Physical Planning, Environment and Conservation (Member for Hagogohe Constituency)

Hon. Yolande Geraldine Paul: Minister for Primary Industries and Marine Resources (Member for Central Bougainville Women)

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