Solomon Islands PM calls on Opposition Leader to resign, warns Premier Suidani

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Solomon Islands Prime Minister has called on the Member for Aoke Langalanga to resign from Parliament, in line with section 50(b) of the Constitution.

The call follows allegations that Matthew Wale was involved in the recent riots and was communicating with the rioters. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare revealed this in his opening statement on Tuesday during the debate to adjourn Parliament sitting to Monday 06 December 2021.

“The Leader of Opposition admitted that he did not have the number and yet he is adamant that the motion be held on 06 December, 2021” Sogavare, MP stated.

“As stated in Parliament, we have received information that the instigators are now planning to threaten individual Members of Parliament in Government. This is exactly why the Leader of Opposition is adamant to have the motion debated. He is fully aware that if the threats are successful the MPs would be resigning ahead of the planned Motion of No Confidence. Hon Wale is using violence and disorder as tool to further his agenda,” he further added.

The Prime Minister condemns this illegal action and asks the Leader of Opposition if the allegations are true then he should be doing the right thing by tendering his resignation to the Speaker of the National Parliament.

Prime Minister Sogavare has also reminded Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani that harbouring criminal elements is a crime and is punishable by imprisonment.

This call is made following information received by the Solomon Islands Government that “domestic terrorists” responsible for the events of 24-27 November have escaped to Auki and are currently being housed by Suidani either at his residence or supporting their accommodation.

That is also a criminal act when you house and protect those “domestic terrorists”. The Prime Minister demands that Suidani do the right thing and report them to Auki Police.

Opposition Leader Matthew Wale in response, categorically refuted the PM’s claim that he and other opposition members were behind the recent protests and riots.

These statements are not only false, but are aimed at diverting the public’s attention from Sogavare’s own failures to properly deal with issues affecting this nation, according to Wale.

Wale said PM Sogavare must recognise his role in this tragedy. These recent events are the culmination of the PM’s leadership style which stretches back throughout his tenure as Prime Minister.

The Opposition Leader pointed out that he has repeatedly made calls for the PM to humbly initiate dialogue with Malaita.

“I have stated on several occasions the need for PM to have constructive dialogue with Malaita. In light of the deteriorating relationship between the Province and National Government, I specifically urged the PM last year to lead a delegation to Malaita to deal with their issues.”

Instead, PM Sogavare failed to do this. His negative attitude to deal with these issues, Wale insisted, is also reflected in the recent events when he ran away and refused to engage in dialogue with the people who marched to Parliament.

Reflecting on the damage from the riots, Wale said what has happened in the last few days is truly a tragedy.

“As a Leader, I lament with the people who have suffered losses and condemn what has happened. Because of the large damage that occurred these past days, the public’s impulse to blame someone is understandable.”

However, the PM must not take advantage of this and divert the public’s attention from his actions and omissions which have directly contributed to this problem.

The Leader of the Opposition urged the Prime Minister to stop blaming others for his own failures and take responsibility as a true leader should in these circumstances.

In another development, the Leader of the Opposition called on Prime Minister Sogavare to refrain from using ex-militants as security details.

‘I urge the Prime Minister to stop using ex-militants as security details. The close protection unit of the RSIPF as well as the RSIPF is already doing this job’.

Wale is very concerned about the provocative nature that such an engagement by the PMO of these ex-militant elements would bring.

‘I am deeply concerned about this provocative action by the PM which can further create ill will and feelings from the public towards these ex-militants and the PM himself’.

The Leader of the Opposition is aware that tensions remain high on the streets with business owners and the public alike voicing concerns about further unrests.

‘Such actions only contribute to further heightening tensions in the capital and around the nation which is already on edge’.

Wale stated that these kinds of action directly contradicts PM Sogavare’s own call to uphold the rule of law.

“You cannot say one thing and do the opposite. There is no need to engage these militant elements while we have our brave men and women of the RSIPF who are mandated to provide security and are already doing this job well.”

Further, he questioned, “with foreign forces already on the ground and on the sea in Honiara why is there any need for ex militants?’

The Leader of Opposition added that, “if you the PM, the police, and government have forehand knowledge of any security concerns, then I call on the PM to talk with church, community, traditional leaders, to try and diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand again.”

Wale, who is the MP for Aoke Langalanga, also expressed the hope that PM Sogavare is not trying to use Malaitans against Malaitans as his response to the current situation.

SOURCE: SBM ONLINE/SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS