Thursday, 4 October 2007 9:03 AM

Opposition MPs Not Switching

The Parliamentary Opposition has flatly denied a claim by the Finance and Treasury Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, that some of his MPs intend to switch to the government.

Mr. Lilo earlier reported some Opposition MPs to have approached the Government, wanting to switch sides and take up new ministerial posts.

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

But Opposition Leader, Fred Fono, in a statement said that not only is the claim not correct, but there is no need for "our MPs to switch to the government camp as it has enough members at its disposal to select from to fill vacancies".

He adds that Opposition MPs do not intend to switch camp because they understand their main mandate enshrined in the national constitution, which is to play the important watchdog role to ensure good governance, transparency and accountability.

Mr. Fono accused the Grand Coalition for Change Government of luring Opposition MPs to defect by offering them attractive financial benefit, assistance and state properties.

The Opposition Leader said the Parliamentary Opposition group is aware of the
pre-requisite for getting funding assistance is to join the coalition government camp.

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