Monday, 12 November 2007 9:49 AM

Only Parliament Can Vote Me Out: Sogavare

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, in light of the mass resignation of government ministers and backbenchers, said he would rather that Parliament vote him out of office.

In a press conference yesterday, Mr. Sogavare said that it was Parliament who voted him in and "only Parliament can vote me out".

He said that he has yet to receive resignation letters from the nine ministers, adding that the letters were addressed to the Governor General, not the Prime Minister.

Mr. Sogavare told the press conference that the MOU, which the nine ministers and three backbenchers signed with Opposition MPs, "is only a list of signatures and nothing more".

The Prime Minister however cited on the sacking of Justice and Legal Affairs Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, and National Planning and Aid Coordination Minister, Steve Abana.

Local journalists were informed that Mr. Abana was sacked for insubordination while Mr. Lilo was sacked for alleged abuse of public funds.

But Mr. Lilo, who until Thursday last week was Finance and Treasury Minister, has denied the allegation, with both describing their sacking as having "come too late".

Both resignations were handed to Government House yesterday morning and they became effective as of yesterday.

It is not clear if the two ministers were sacked before they could resign.

Mr. Abana's resignation came a day after he issued a statement calling on the Prime Minister to step aside.

He said he no longer accepts Prime Minister Sogavare's style of leadership.

The Governor General is expected to announce today the action he will take.