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PM Sogavare removes Anticorruption Bill 2016, Opposition says move politically motivated

 

THE Opposition Group has come out stating that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s move to withdraw the Anticorruption Bill 2016 is politically motivated.

Members of the Official Opposition made the statement in a press conference hosted yesterday at the Paul Tovua Complex (PTC).

The Leader of the Official Opposition Jeremiah Manele told the press that the withdrawal of the Bill is politically motivated and is a tactic by the Prime Minister to maintain the support of his members, some of whom are scared of the Bill and have been threatening to desert the Government.

“According to the Prime Minister, the reason for the withdrawal of the Bill is to allow Cabinet time to amend the Bill to accommodate the recommendations contained in the report of the BLC.

“This is a lame excuse.

“This was the same excuse issued by the Prime Minister in the past.

“The Bills and Legislation Committee as part of its recommendation commended the Bill to the House,” said Hon Manele.

The Opposition Leader then added that there is no guarantee that the Prime Minister will reintroduce the Bill after Cabinet has made the amendments.

They said the withdrawal of the Bill is hypocrisy at its best especially from a Government and Prime Minister that boasts too much about fighting corruption head on.

“The withdrawal of the Bill is a slap on the face of the ordinary citizens of this country and I hope the Prime Minister will come to realize this.

“The Prime Minister and MPs who voted in favour of the withdrawal of the Bill have failed the people of this country.

“Mr Prime Minister are you going to listen to the cries of our people or neglect their wishes because of political pressure?” The Opposition Leader said.

The Opposition then added that if the Government fails to introduce the Anticorruption Bill, it will greatly undermine its good governance reform programs, of which the Anticorruption legislation or Bill is the main one.

The Opposition states that it is of the view that the Prime Minister and his Government will never bring back the Bill as promised.

“We challenge the Prime Minister, as he promised this morning (yesterday) to bring the Bill back to Parliament.

“This is the wish of our people and our country badly needs such legislation,” the Opposition Leader said.

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