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New ABG Vice President

By Anthony Kaybing

The ABG Minister for Public Service, Raymond Masono has been appointed as the new Vice President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government following the resignation of Patrick Nisira.

Mr Masono was sworn in as Vice President by Chief Magistrate Bruce Tasikul after being appointed by ABG President Chief Dr John Momis.

The decision to appoint Masono came after the incumbent, Nisira had made his decision to resign the Vice President's post and run in the 2017 National General Election.

Mr Masono is from the Carteret’s Island and is a first term MP in the ABG and the Member for the Atolls Constituency and Minister for Public Service.

Prior to his entry into politics Masono had a distinguished career in the Bougainville Public Service and held several senior positions, including Acting Chief Administrator, Deputy Chief Administrator Policy and Director for Panguna Negotiations.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude on behalf of the Atolls people for the President’s confidence in appointing me as his new Vice President,” Masono said.

“I accept this appointment with great humility, for me personally it is a great honour to serve as the Vice President of one of the founding fathers of this nation and I want to assure the President and the people of Bougainville of my undivided loyalty and continued support to the President and ABG,” Masono said.

“I undertake to do my very best to support the President and the government to ensure that ABG’s key objectives on economic recovery, infrastructure development and law and order are realised with limited available resources,” he added.

Masono also paid tribute to his predecessor for his immense contribution to the ABG since he first became a member in 2005 and eventually Vice President in 2010.

Masono wished Nisira well in his aspirations in the National Elections and congratulated him on taking the Bougainville issue to the next level, which is the National Parliament of PNG.

Apart from Masono assuming the responsibilities of the Vice President he also retained his ministry as Minister for Public Service.

President Momis also announced a reshuffle in his cabinet, the ABG Finance Minister Albert Punghau has now been appointed the Minister for Implementation of Bougainville Peace Agreement formerly Ministry of Referendum, Peace and Veterans Affairs that was held by the outgoing Vice President, Patrick Nisira.

For the time being President Momis has assumed the role of Minister for Finance and Treasury until such time as he announces a full cabinet reshuffle.

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