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Ministers axed: Replacement sworn in

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PM Danny Philip with some of the newly sworn in ministers.
PRIME Minister Danny Philip has relieved six of his ministers yesterday morning, saying his decision was based on national interest.

This came after six Opposition members have defected to the Government including former leader, Steve Abana on April 6.

Four of the six Opposition members, Rick Hou, Andrew Hanaria, Clay Forau and Connelly Sandakabatu were given ministerial portfolios by the PM except for Abana and MP for West Kwaio Peter Tom.

Abana preferred to get a chairmanship in one of the State Owned Enterprises boards.

Hou, former Central Bank Governor and worked at the World Bank in US replaced Stanley Sofu as new minister for Public Service.

Hanaria replaced Varian Longamei as new minister for Aviation and Communications.

Forau replaced James Tora as new minister for Police and National Security.

Sandakabatu replaced Selwyn Ruimana as new minister for Agriculture and Livestock.

Moses Garu who recently defected to Government replaced Mark Kemakeza as new minister for Mines and Energy.

While former Minister for Women, Youths and Children’s Affairs, Joseph Onika replaced minister for Lands, Housing and Survey, Martin Sopaghe.

Dickson Mua who lately joined the Government as well took up the Ministry of Women, Youths and Children’s Affairs.

All the ministers were sworn in at Government House yesterday afternoon except for Hou, who attended the funeral of his uncle in Small Malaita.

He is likely to take his oath before the Governor General flew out to United Kingdom on April 24 to attend the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

By EDDIE OSIFELO