CHINESE MONEY CLAIMS

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DPM Manasseh Maelanga
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Maelanga denies allegation of attempting to bribe Malaita leaders to topple Suidani-gov’t

By EDDIE OSIFELO

DEPUTY Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga has denied allegation that he carried a large amount of money to Auki on Tuesday night to lobby Malaita Provincial Assembly members to leave Premier Daniel Suidani.

The Premier’s Political Advisor, Celsus Talifilu posted this on social media that the move is being made so that China can enter Malaita and force it to submit.

Talifilu alleged that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has sent DPM Maelanga with orders and a big amount of Chinese money to ensure this happens as soon as possible to allow Chinese takeover.

He said some Government members of Parliament from Honiara had informed Auki that Maelanga is on a mission to bribe MPAs for a no-confidence motion on Premier Suidani.

However, Maelanga told Island Sun that he was shocked to learn of the allegations.

“Rubbish,” he retorted when asked about the allegation.

“I never visit Auki Township upon arrival but travel straight to my constituency in East Malaita from Gwounaru’u airport,” he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister yesterday met with the Council, which consists of various leaders of the communities in the constituency.

Maelanga will hand over school materials to Foumamanu Community High School today and visit the deteriorating roads in East Malaita following the recent rainfall.

He is expected to arrive in Honiara on Friday.

Earlier, Premier Suidani said his camp was rock solid because the population in Malaita is backing them.

Suidani said this was evident when the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening wanted to recall Provincial Secretary Fredrick Fa’abasua and it led to protests in Auki.

“How much more if the Premier is removed?” he said.

Suidani said the proposed motion of no confidence planned against him died its natural death because the Malaita population is behind MARA government.

He said is government’s numerical strength will be back to normal after other MPAs are expected to arrive from Malaita Outer Islands yesterday.

There are 33 wards in Malaita.

Speaker of Malaita Provincial Assembly, Ronnie Butala said his office has not received any notice of motion of no confidence.

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