- Malaita MPA dismisses accusations; declared he is still with MARA govt
- MARA thanks protestors for calm behaviour.
By SAMMY WAIKORI and EDDIE OSIFELO
ONE of the nine Malaita MPAs accused of plotting to bring down Premier Daniel Suidani has dismissed claims he was paid to be part of the group.
Ward 4 MPA and the province’s Youth minister Ivan Samuel broke his silence on Friday following widespread accusations that led to a protest in Auki.
“There was no bribe paid and I am still a member of the MARA government,” Samuel told the Island Sun.
“I can only be removed from MARA if I tender my resignation or sacked by the premier,” he added.
“At the moment, this was not the case.
“I am still the minister for Youth
“I did not resign.”
Samuel was accused by Malaitans as being part of the nine MPAs who left for Honiara last week at the behest of Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga.
The political turbulence has led to a protest by disgruntled Malaitans in Auki last week who want to see MARA stay into power for its remaining term.
MARA, under the leadership of Suidanai, has refused to accept the China switch and vowed to keep China out of Malaita.
The national government has been accused of working behind the scene to bring down Suidani so that a new government friendly to China can come in place.
The nine reportedly planning to resign were allegedly part of the national government’s plot.
Samuel said he did not receive any bribes as many had claimed.
He said it was sad to see Malaitans accusing him and calling him all sorts of names.
“Malaita will never be sold,” he said.
The other eight MPAs could not be reached for comments.
Meanwhile, the MARA Government has thanked protesters for upholding the law during their peaceful march.
The protesters called on the group of executive members who are planning to resign from MARA government to reconsider their decision and remain with the government.
Speaking on behalf of MARA government, an executive member, MPA for Ward 28, Claudio Tei’ifi acknowledged the protestors for raising their concerns within the bounds of the law.
Tei’ifi, who was called to receive the protesters, said people are aware that a number of executive members are planning to resign from MARA government.
“But at this point of time, no resignations has happened yet,” he said.
“The process is a resignation letter from an executive member must go through the premier’s office, the speaker and clerk to the assembly and will prove those who resign,” he added.
“For now, there’s no resignation and we’ll wait to see what will happen before we might think of taking any more moves,” Tei’ifi said.
He assured the people that he will take their demands to the MARA executive for their discussions.
Tei’ifi called on people to maintain the peaceful behavior shown during the protest and refrain from any unlawful activities that will jeopardize the safety of everyone.