Monday, 10 October 2011 8:31 AM

Opposition Ups Ante Against PM

The Leader of Opposition, Dr Derek Sikua, has gone on the attack against Prime Minister Danny Philip, accusing him of interference in the work of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The Opposition says the PAC is a Standing Select Committee appointed by Parliament to ensure government expenditures are effective and honest.

Dr Sikua says under Parliamentary Standing Order 69, the PAC has power "to summon any public officer to give information or any explanation or to produce any records or document which the committee may require in the performance of its duties."

"The Prime Minister should therefore refrain from gagging it or interfering in its work," said Dr Sikua.

The Opposition Leader says he does not know of any law forbidding the PAC to discuss or question matters that are before the Leadership Code Commission (LCC), making reference to the case now before the LCC - the house sold to West Honiara MP supposedly on the direction of the PM.

Prime Minister Danny Philip has however refuted all the allegations leveled against him and has called on the PAC to refrain from turning the PAC hearings into "a political propaganda tool."

The Prime Minister says that the Opposition has already referred its complaints against him to the LCC so "it should be left at that."

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By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
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