SIFONI: MARA LOSES SIX

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Malaita Deputy Premier, Randal Sifoni.
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Minister Seleso asked to revoke ‘resigned’ members

BY CHARLES KADAMANA

SIX members of the Suidani-led Malaita Province executive have reportedly resigned, a letter the Island Sun cited yesterday claimed.

The letter, dated 13/9.2021 and signed by the recently sacked deputy premier Randal Sifoni, was addressed to Provincial Government minister Rollen Seleso.

“I write to advice you that office of the premier has confirmed receiving resignation letters from six provincial ministers,” Sifono, who is MPA for Ward 30, claimed in the letter.

He named the six as:

  1. Elijah Asilaua, MPA Ward 11
  2. Alick Ofo’ofo, MPA Ward 26
  3. Ivan Tonafalea, MPA Ward 4
  4. Francis Wateliu, MPA Ward 23
  5. John Kehosi, MPA Ward 31
  6. William Longa, MPA Ward 32

Sifoni requested Seleso to revoke the appointments of the six as provincial ministers.

Island Sun was unable to verify the resignation claims with the named MPAs last night.

Also, this paper did not cite the resignation letters of the provincial ministers, except that of Asilaua, who is the Minister for Forestry, Mines and Energy.

Asilaua’s letter was dated 3/9/21.

He accused Premier Suidani of making decisions without consulting the executive.

“Your decision-making is not consistent with the principles of good governance and democracy,” Asilau said in his resignation letter to the premier.

He also stated Premier Suidani’s style of leadership is dividing the people of Malaita and this is affecting the function of the executive and its ability to deliver much needed services to the people.

“As members of the Malaita Provincial Executive we are mandated to represent our people and make sure that their views are heard during executive deliberations.

“Instead, the voices of our people have been suppressed and silenced by your non consultative approach and total disregard to the governing rules of the Malaita Provincial Government, an institution born under the constitution of Solomon Islands under the Provisions of the Provincial Government Act.”

Asilau also accused Premier Suidani of entertaining the Malaita for Democracy (M4D), a pressure group operating within Auki.

When contacted last night, acting premier, Nelson Lenty, said his office has not received any letters of resignation from its members.

Provincial Assembly Speaker Ronnie Butala also told the Island Sun his office has not cited any resignation letters.

He said normally, executive members who intend to resign will have to tender their resignation letters to the premier or in his absence, the deputy premier.

“The office of the premier would then pass on copies to the office of the speaker,” Butala explained.

“From there on, the provincial secretary would facilitate the letter and forward it to the provincial government minister,” he added.

“That’s the process.”

Premier Suidani is still in Australia awaiting his return, and could not be reached for comments last night.

In recent weeks, his government has been shaky with reports of 12 of his executive members intending to resign.

Ivan Tonafalea, the provincial Youth minister rumoured to be among the 12, has since denied the claim, stating he is still with the MARA government.


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