BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
A motion of no confidence will reportedly be moved against the premier of Rennell and Bellona province this Full Assembly.
Premier Willie Tuhagega has welcomed the motion, highlighting the baseless nature of the stated reasons for it and the unfortunate timing of the motion during these trying covid-19 times.
He also warns that the non-executives are similarly squabbling among themselves. This is not a good sign of a group hoping to form a new government.
The two-day Assembly begins today, December 9.
The province’s speaker Lester Saomasi received notice of the motion on Tuesday, December 1, from the motion-mover, MPA for ward 10 Warren Tamaika.
On the following day (December 2) three Bellonese MPAs (for wards 7, 8 & 9) resigned from the Executive. A public notice on the no-confidence motion was also pinned up on December 2 for public viewing.
From documents given to the paper by Mr Tamaika on Monday night this week, all four of Bellona’s MPAs including the motion-mover plus two MPAs (for ward 4 and 6) from Rennell are behind the motion. This leaves the current Executive with just four (including Premier) MPAs. Renbel province has 10 wards.
In the notice-letter to the Speaker (which was not copied to the Premier), main reasons cited by Tamaika to justify the motion of no-confidence include:
-Lack of political leadership and transparency over the provincial executive and over the development direction for Rennell Bellona Province
-Uncaring lack of control over the duties and performance of the provincial administration
-Lack of capability in directing the provincial administration for the development and strengthening of the provincial establishment
-Dishonestly and lack of financial control and accountability over the proper processing of budget development, revenue collecting and budget implementation of Rennell Bellona provincial government finances
Premier Tuhagega, speaking to Island Sun on Monday night this week, welcomed the motion.
However, while conveying confidence in defeating the motion, he expresses concern over the timing of the motion which brings instability in the province’s governance in the midst of these trying times under the covid-19 pandemic.
He also labels the non-executives’ reasons as unfair to use terms such as dishonesty because he is not aware of being involved in any fraud since Tamaika does not provide any specific examples, furthermore, he has ministers and a provincial secretary who deal with areas in which he (Premier) is being targeted.
Premier Tuhagega meanwhile clarifies that there are hidden agendas not stated in the motion’s notice letter especially with several senior MPAs backing the motion who are driven by selfish motives and self-interests.
He outlines that the disgruntled MPAs never discussed their disagreements (stated in the letter) with him as matured sensible leaders are expected to.
“Instead of discussing with me they go ahead with this nonsense. A lot of the things raised in the letter, they never discussed with me prior. I don’t know, they never communicate, they never respond to my emails and texts.
“It is all time wasting really. Even they themselves do not like eachother. For example, they met earlier the MPAs from Bellona chose Japhet Tuhanuku to be candidate for premier. The Rennell MPAs did not accept this, instead choosing Eric Tangaibasa to be premier candidate. The Bellonese MPAs do not accept this.
“On the whole, I am confident that I will defeat this motion.”