Duma eyes top job
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
WITH election campaigning underway, Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma has reportedly taken credit for delivering two LNG projects in Papua New Guinea while angling to become prime minister.
Peter O'Neill and William Duma to the left at the opening of Shell's office at Petromin Haus. Image courtesy of Shell.
According to the Post Courier, Duma said he was ready for the top job during a rally which drew a crowd of more than 10,000.
The United Resources Party leader long served as petroleum minister under the Somare government and spoke of how he twice refused the deputy PM post.
“My refusal doesn’t mean that I was not prepared or ready but I just want to serve the people of PNG from the portfolio that I served,” Duma reportedly said.
“I was faithful in my portfolio as the minister for petroleum and energy and delivered to this nation the much-talked [about] LNG project [PNG LNG] and second LNG in Gulf [Gulf LNG].”
While the ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project is on track, Duma’s claim that the InterOil-led Gulf LNG project has been delivered is premature.
In fact, Duma even helped trigger some delays for the Gulf LNG project.
Due to his public criticism that it lacked a world-class operator, InterOil launched a process to find such a candidate back in October.
InterOil recently indicated an announcement on this front was imminent but it needed the opportunity to sit down with Duma and his department to work through any other issues they might have.
With regard to the PNG LNG project, arguably the Department of Public Enterprises made the biggest contribution out of any government department.
It was achieved back in 2008 during the early onset of the global financial crisis when state-owned enterprise Independent Public Business Corporation secured the necessary finance to meet the bulk of the government and landowner shares of development costs (19.6%) for the $US15.7 billion project.
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I don't get it. According to previous info., O'Neil/Namah are shoe ins to retain their leadership. Why would Duma try to take them on. It sounds like a Kamakaze tactic. I don't see any positive outcome for him. What's his angle if the rumors are true? If true there must be something missing from the story!!!
What should we expect Duma to do? Exactly this. His ego is no smaller than the average politician's. Somare has been PM for a long time and this is the first chance (and maybe last) many have ever really had to do what they think is good for PNG and themselves. He who runs the country controls the Treasury at a time when PNG is expected to boom. We know Duma has a healthy appetite for money. The Somare regime still wants to control things and Duma is one who might be able to keep its policies going.
Unfortunately for Duma he has a pretty small support base. He's not trusted and is still blamed for screwing up PNG LNG for LOs. People know he's corrupt. And over the last year he has undermined Oneill. If Oneill comes back as PM which is expected Duma may lose his DPE leadership. So it makes sense he would do this. IMHO he has little chance of being the next PM. Oneill is the projected as the next PM as he has widespread support and an expected very friendly parliament.