Advertise with Islandsun

Tuhagenga insists he’s still the premier


WILLIE Tuhagenga, the premier of Renbel Province who was ousted in a controversial motion of no confidence last week, insists he is still the legitimate holder of the position.

Members of the Renbel Provincial Assembly elected Japhet Tuhanuku as the new premier during a meeting on 20 December 202, at Moreno Rest House on Rennel.

But Tuhagenga told the Island Sun the meeting was illegal because the Provincial Speaker breached standing order 62 when he issued a notice for the meeting.

Under Standing Order 62, the Speaker may adjourn commencement day of date of the meeting after consultation with the premier where unforeseen circumstances make it impracticable or impossible to proceed as scheduled.

Furthermore, Tuhagenga argued any call for assembly meeting is vested on the power of the premier and not the speaker.

“In fact, I’ve advised the speaker to schedule the assembly meeting on 6 December, however due to logistic and funding issues, the proposed meeting date was deferred to January 2022,” Tuhagenga said.

“But when I announced the date on 6 December, the non-executive requested for a special assembly meeting on 20 December with the main business being a motion of no-confidence in the premier,” he added.

According to the notice issued on 10 December the Speaker calls to convene the meeting on 20 December under Standing Order 58.

Tuhagega said the same notice was issued to him on 14 December, which means there is no clear seven days from the date of service of the notice.

He questioned the validity of issuing and approving the date.

“This is an assembly meeting and I should be consulted prior within clear seven days.

“It ought to be made clear that I have no intention to defer the assembly meeting as there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled before the meeting can proceed.”

Tuhagenga said he’s taking the matter to court so that it can be sorted out.

He said there will be negative implications on the province if this issue is not sorted.

Tuhagenga said this so-called change of leadership through illegal means will set a bad precedence for the province and will affect its development and progress.

The province’s Speaker could not be reached for comments.

Comments are also being sought from the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening.