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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sogavare says proposed protest march by civil society groups wont change decision on Moti and Khan

By George Herming

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday said the planned peaceful march by certain groups in protest against the appointment of Julian Moti and Police Commissioner Jahir Khan will not have any impact on the decision to appoint the two men.

Last week groups including anti-corruption body, Transparency Solomon Islands and Civil Society groups announced a proposed peaceful march to protest the appointments with hopes to force Mr Sogavare to rescind them.

But Mr Sogavare boldly welcomed any protests and petitions saying nothing will change his government’s decision.

“This is a democratic country and we welcome moves like that,” he said. “But I would like to make it clear that no amount of march would make the point clear to the government”.

He said the government hugely respects the laws of the country and never at any time broke them for specific interests.

“These are decisions that the government has taken, and taken them lawfully,” he said. Never yet have we erred in law in all the decisions that we’re taking”.

Mr Sogavare made reference to earlier court rulings in favour of government decisions as a classic example of his government’s respect for the laws of the country.

“The courts have upheld a number of decisions that we took on a number of issues,” he said. “So when it comes to good governance our minds are clear”.

“I see compliance with rules and laws as an important step in compliance with the principles of good governance,” he said.

The Prime Minister openly invited groups and individuals who disagree with government decisions to hold dialogue with his government to sort out differences.

“My office is open and never yet this people have come to discuss these issues with me,” he said. “We have answers to a lot of questions that these people have and we are willing to discuss these issues”.

“I have made this open invitation to the people concerned to come forward and discuss these issues with us,” Mr Sogavare said.

Source: GCU

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