‘Abuse of power’

THE Leader of Opposition, Matthew Wale condemns the Prime Minister for using his office to seek support for an intending candidate for the upcoming South Choiseul Constituency by-elections, further labelling the action as abuse of official position.

A signed letter sighted by the Leader of Opposition shows the Prime Minister asking the Chiefs of the South Choiseul Constituency to pledge their political support for an intending candidate nominated by Our Party. The South Choiseul Constituency seat was left vacant after Robertson Qalokale was removed by petition recently.

“In my view, the letter is clearly designed to influence the Chiefs and leaders in that Constituency as heads of their respective communities to rally support for the PM’s candidate.

“It is clear from the tenor of the whole letter that the Chiefs are being told that there are no other choices except that offered by the PM’s ruling government and his political party. This is clearly undemocratic intended to influence how people vote,” says the Opposition Leader.

Wale adds, “Also, the action appears to be in breach of the Constitution and the Leadership Code (Further Provisions) Act.  While the law imposes a duty on all leaders to carry out their roles in a certain manner; the duty placed on the PM must rank the highest as the buck stops with that office as far as management of the affairs of the country is concerned.”

He says the duty imposed by law demands that the PM not be engaged in any act that gives rise to a conflict of interest situation, demeans that office or position, or diminishes the respect and confidence people have in the government.

“Using the official letter head, promoting his political party and saying that the government is the only option for an incoming MP to serve the nation or his people surely must run afoul those constitutional requirements as any sitting non-member of government or any intending candidate, or the public for that matter will certainly be asking questions.

“I am therefore calling on the Chairman of the Leadership Code Commission to exercise his power to cause an investigation into this matter and to take whatever action is appropriate.  This action borders on misconduct in office and so must be investigated.  No one is above the law,” Wale adds.


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