HONIARA, 30 OCTOBER 2019 (SOLOMON STAR/ISLAND SUN) — Solomon Islands Opposition leader Matthew Wale has questioned the Prime Minister over the long delay in the appointment of his deputy.
The DPM post became vacant after John Maneniaru was sacked from the post on 30 September.
Since the sacking the government has not appointed a replacement to date.
“This delay is not in the interest of good governance and transparency,” Wale said in a statement.
“The current government is made up of political parties and until that changes, the Political Party and Integrity Act requires a deputy representing the coalition party with the second largest number to be appointed,” he added.
“It is therefore important that this position be filled up as soon as possible.”
The Opposition leader further adds:
“The Prime Minister appointed Manasseh Maelanga as the Acting Prime Minister recently, when he was overseas.
“If this is an indication of the Government’s preference for the DPM post, he should now follow through and appoint Maelanga and not delay the process any further.
“Or is it that the Prime Minister has no confidence in any of his senior ministers and is still fishing around for the right candidate?
“The position of DPM provides a balancing equation in Government leadership, hence should not be politicised, if that is what the prime minister is doing,” Wale said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will announce his deputy Prime Minister soon.
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Alex Akwai confirmed to Island Sun, “The announcement for the deputy Prime Minister will be made very soon.”
Akwai said the DCGA under the leadership of the Prime Minister is fully committed to delivering ongoing and prospective policy priorities in the interests of peace, national stability and economic advancement.
Akwai was responding to enquiries furnished it by the paper following increasing questions by concerned members of public on the delay by Prime Minister Sogavare to announce who would replace John Maneniaru as deputy PM.
Sogavare fired Maneniaru, who is the Wing Leader for Kadere Party, more than one month ago and to date there is still no appointment to fill the vacancy.
Recently, when Sogavare went overseas, he chose Manasseh Maelanga (Minister of Infrastructure Development) to be the Acting Prime Minister.
Members of public are questioning, “If this is an indication of his first choice, why hasn’t he appointed Hon. Maelanga to the vacant position?
“The country needs to have a government that is fully functional and transparent about its business. The holding on to the appointment is raising a lot of questions.”
Insiders say the PM is still holding on to the appointment for he fears that if he appoints the wrong person, it will break the solidarity in the Government.
“This only suggests that the PM is more concerned about numbers than looking after the affairs of the country,” some speculate.
Rumours have it that the government is currently lobbying Danny Philip for the job. The other name flagged is Bradley Tovosia. (PACNEWS)