Western premier urged to give way to new gov’t
BY BEN BILUA
WESTERN Province Premier David Gina has been told to step down.
This comes following the resignation of five of his ministers early this week and the fact he only has seven of the 26 Provincial Assembly members supporting him.
“Gina must step down to give way for a new government,” members of the non-executive Chris Mesepitu, Brisbane Amatore, Ramraka Talasasa and Jenning Movobule told Island Sun Gizo.
“We now have the numbers to form the next government,” they claimed.
The numbers clearly showed out during the Assembly Meeting this week, which the non-executive boycotted.
Only eight executive members, including Premier Gina, showed up, resulting in the adjournment of the meeting.
“Our boycotting of the meeting was justified,” they stated.
“First, we did this because the Speaker misinterpreted the standing orders, resulting in disallowing the motion of no-confidence,” they added.
“Secondly, it is a strategic move to change the leadership.”
The non-executive bench said they believe and based on their understanding of the standing orders, the motion should have been allowed to be tabled this week.
They added the provincial budget should have already went through the Assembly because we have no intention of defeating it.
“We understand the importance of the budget, but at the same time we question the legality of tabling the budget in reference to requirements provided under the Financial Management Ordinance.”
The group further stated that the recent sitting failed to fulfil the requirement under the Financial Management Ordinance which states that a Supplementary Budget Assembly meeting should be tabled after six month from previous Budget Meeting.
They said that one of their aims was to change the leadership before addressing the budget.
“Our intention is not the defeat the budget, rather to challenge the leadership.
“Even if the budget was tabled in the sitting, it will be defeated as the government does not have the numbers to support it.
“Premier Gina has had his chance in the past three years and it is time he steps aside.”
The next Assembly meeting is scheduled for November this year.
But the group said this will drag the process and delay the budget, which the province needs to pass.
“The waiting game will have implications on government services and the blame should be on the government for dragging the process.
“Gina cannot continue to operate a minority government and so we cannot go on like this until November.
“The issue needs to be dealt with, have the budget passed so that we can move on.”
The group said they will challenge the Speaker’s ruling.
“We have 18 MPAs here on our side so obviously, we have the numbers to run the next government.”