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Monday, November 19, 2007

Prime Minister accused the sacked Minister of finance in his SIBC's Nation address

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare today (Saturday) issued a statement further accusing the former Finance and Treasury minister Gordon Darcy Lilo of spearheading the current political turmoil for personal interest.

The statement which was aired over the national station, SIBC this evening (Saturday) Mr Sogavare accused Mr Lilo of making desperate attempts to cover up trails of his mismanagement of public funds.

The Prime Minister said this is causing unnecessary panic amongst people who have started to see and benefit from the implementation of the government’s bottom up development policy. "I am disappointed because Mr Lilo has managed to confuse a number of government MPs to support his very selfish agenda".

He called on those MPs to reconsider their position with the member for Gizo/Kolombangara and former Minister of Finance.Mr Sogavare said he is surprised the defecting members of his government could deliberately lie about him not consulting cabinet and caucus on major decisions of national interest when their leader Mr Lilo does not believe in it.

"I was accused of pursuing a dictatorial leadership style by the defectors, adding that I did not consult Cabinet and Caucus on all major decisions regarding issues that concern our national interest. I am surprised that the group had the audacity to deliberately lie about this matter. I am not ignorant about the principles of Cabinet government system, which is premised on collective decision making process. I want to stand here and affirm my commitment to the principles of this governing system".

Meanwhile, the prime minister accused his former Finance Minister of defying his directives and failing to consult cabinet on the issue of Solomon Airlines.Mr Sogavare said the Solomon Airlines issue is now an embarrassment to the country.He said Mr Lilo never consulted cabinet on a number of important issues including his decision to use the country's foreign reserve to pay for student's fees in Papua New Guinea institutions."He never consulted the Cabinet when he decided to use our revenue reserve to pay for our students’ fees in Papua New Guinea Institutions because that country withheld their assistance when the former Minister of Finance irresponsibly cancelled their 5th Freedom Right, without any consultations.

"Mr Lilo failed to consult me despite my clear instructions to him that before any more purchases of government vehicles were made I must be fully consulted". Sogavare said.

In defiance of this directive and the correct procedures governing the purchases of vehicles, the former Minister of Finance and the former Minister of Infrastructure Development have committed SBD12.1million on the purchase of government vehicles so far this year. SBD2.8million of this amount is still owing to the suppliers which were not of ineterest to the government's spending.

Source: SIBC

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