One week gamble

Motion to oust PM Sogavare set for Monday Nov 6, gov’t rules with minority


EMBATTLED Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will face a Motion of no Confidence – to be introduce in Parliament Monday next week.

The National Parliament has confirmed receiving a notice of the motion of no confidence to oust the Prime Minister.

Mover of the no confidence motion and Independent Leader, Hon Dr Derek Sikua submitted the notice on Sunday October 29, Clerk to Parliament Clezy Rore confirmed to Island Sun yesterday.

Rore said the notice has been endorsed by Speaker of Parliament Ajilon Nasiu and has been put to notice.

Reasons for the motion is still shallow at this stage, with the primary reason provided by the mover being ‘no confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership’.

Deputy Clerk to Parliament David Kusilifu said the reasons will be elaborated when the motion is debated in parliament.

He furthers that the motion could be introduced in Parliament Monday next week, or any day after that, after a clear seven days’ notice, according to Section 34(2) of the Constitution.

The notice follows a weekend of political drama resulting in the resignation of nine ministers and 10 backbenchers from the Sogavare-led Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG).

Head count in yesterday’s parliament meeting saw 17 members of Parliament (MPs) sitting in the government bench and 26 MPs in the Opposition and Independent bench.

Sogavare then moved a Motion on Special Adjournment that parliament shall adjourn to Thursday November 2, 2017.

Sikua yesterday sought leave from the Speaker under Parliament Standing Order 26, section (2) subsection (b) to dispense with the required notice for amending the Special Adjournment Motion by the Prime Minister for parliament to adjourn to Monday November 6, 2017 at its adjournment on Thursday November 2, 2017.

The Speaker then granted the leave and amendment to the special adjournment by Prime Minister, and was unopposed by the Prime Minister who said the government side had no problem with that.

The amendment to the Special Adjournment was then passed in parliament yesterday which spells out clear that parliament will resume on Monday November 6 at its adjournment this Thursday (November 2).

Pundits say the move by Sikua is a clear indication that the motion of no confidence will be introduced in Parliament Monday next week, November 6.

Meanwhile, a Member of Parliament has told the media that MPs have totally lost all trust and confidence in the leadership of Sogavare.

“Sogavare has allowed his controversial nephew Robson Djokovic to control government affairs.”

Djokovic serves as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

It was alleged that in a desperate move, Djokovic made “lucrative” offers to Snyder Rini and Danny Philip to remain with the government, but both MPs declined.

Sogavare counters this allegation, saying that some of the nine Ministers who have left his government were responsible for undermining the progress of the Anti-Corruption Bill (ACB).

In a statement on Sunday, the Prime Minister’s Office said the reasons the defectors have reported in the media were an attempt to disguise the underlying reasons for the move – the Anti-Corruption Bill.

The Anti-Corruption Bill 2017 went over First Reading in Parliament yesterday and was deemed to be set down for Second Reading next week.

Meanwhile, it is clear that the government is now running the country on minority.

However, as the political drama continues to unfold, reliable sources said government lobbyists are working hard behind the scenes rallying opposition and independent MPs to be sworn in as new ministers anytime until Monday November 6, 2017.

Island Sun understands that cabinet had a closed session after parliament which ended before lunch time yesterday.

Meanwhile, resigned Minister of Public Service Moffat Fugui penned his intentions while on a government sanctioned trip overseas.

A source familiar with government procedures said Fugui is legally disqualified to hold the portfolio as the Minister of Public Service during the trip because he had resigned from the government.

He left the country last week with the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology Samuel Manetoali, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development John Dean Kuku and government backbencher Commins Mewa to attend UNESCO’s annual Youth Forum in Paris, France.

The resigned ministers and backbenchers are currently camping at the Honiara Hotel.

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