Saturday, 29 September 2007 9:41 AM

Opposition Defections Likely: Lilo

Finance Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, says some Opposition MPs are approaching the Government, wanting to switch sides and take up new ministerial posts.

Mr Lilo could not immediately disclose the names of the MPs but indicated that there is overwhelming interest from some opposition MPs to join the government.

He said the interest to leave the opposition is likely to further weaken the opposition numbers and they could become powerless as an alternative government.

"I can only feel sorry for them," Mr Lilo said. "It could also weaken the Opposition's democratic function as an effective watchdog on Government.

Earlier this week, former opposition MP and newly sworn in Minister for Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs, Clement Kengava, said the opposition does not have a rural development policy in place to help the nation. He said latest opposition claims that the bottom up approach is not forthcoming are baseless and misleading.

The Minister said the Opposition has often confused the policy with the notion that it is a financial scheme to pour money into rural areas without any management or control measures in place.

The Minister said that the policy is more about working closely with the provinces and all constituencies and government agencies to deliver goods and services to the people and facilitate development that is beneficial to all.

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