Vila Times

Solomon Islands’ PM Sogavare ousted

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Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was ousted in Monday’s motion of no confidence, warranting the election of a new Prime Minister along with the formation of the new government soon.

The 10 Members of the Opposition and Independent Group together with the 17 deserters of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) who joined their fold stuck together till the motion was voted on and passed late on Monday, Solomon Start reports.

Mover of the motion, the Independent Group Leader Dr Derek Sikua, before moving the motion asked Sogavare to resign stating that he no longer enjoys the majority support of Parliament or face the humiliation of going through the motion.

But an adamant Sogavare opted to face the motion saying he wanted Parliament to discuss the reasons warranting his removal because motion was triggered by the mass resignation of government ministers and backbenchers to the opposition.

Dr Sikua said the MPs who switched to the Opposition have not taken the decision to exit the Sogavare-led Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) without proper consideration and reflection on what has happened over the last three years under the leadership of the East Choiseul MP.

“This is because I believe we have lost direction due to being bogged down with matters that have little to do with advancing the affairs of Solomon Islands as a nation.”

Dr Sikua said having worked as a Minister of Education under the Sogavare leadership for eight months since the DCCG took office in December 2014, he knew the East Choiseul MP as someone that was suspicious of anyone who stood up to him or differed from his viewpoint.

Dr Sikua further added that Sogavare’s appointment of relatives and cronies as political appointees on high salaries at tax-payers’ expense with no regard to either qualification or experience ran against the grain of good governance.

“The Prime Minister is hypocritical when it comes to everyone else about good governance, accountability and transparency.

“Good governance, accountability and transparency are mandatory for everyone else but only optional for the Prime Minister.

“What qualifications and experience does his nephew who occupies the position of Chief of Staff in the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) possess?”

In addition, the Independent Group Leader said Sogavare’s lack of transparency about his private financial dealings demonstrated his lack of sound judgement.

He said he believed Sogavare had benefited personally by using his office as Prime Minister.