Tuesday, 13 November 2007 10:24 AM

PM Banks on Truth to Maintain Office

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says his source of strength in the current political crisis lies in his explanation of the reasons for the sacking of his two cabinet Ministers.

Mr. Sogavare explained to his other cabinet ministers, as well as backbenchers, that the MP for Gizo/ Kolombangara, Gordon Darcy Lilo, was terminated from his new appointment as the Minister for Justice and Legal Affairs whilst the MP for Fataleka, Steve Abana, was sacked from his Development Planning and Aid Coordination ministerial portfolio for aggressively lobbying the support of government MPs to oust Mr Sogavare from office.

Mr Lilo's termination comes only few days after being reshuffled from the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs last Thursday over reports of corruption including the mismanagement of government finances, failure to provide details on the disbursement of finances towards rehabilitation for the earthquake and tsunami-stricken people of the Western and Choiseul Provinces and involvement in a scandal in the Solomon Airlines.

The Prime Minister made the reshuffle to allow investigations to be conducted into the reports.

Mr Sogavare told a Press Conference yesterday that he was banking on his explanation of the reasons for the sacking of Mr Darcy Lilo and Mr Abana to the government MPs who reportedly defected to Opposition to regain their support because they seemed to be misled by the two sacked Ministers.

The Prime Minister said it was too early at this stage to give credit to who might claim to have the numbers to form a new government because Solomon Islands politics was unique for last minute crossovers.

He said he had not yet received any letters of resignation from government MPs who were reported to defect to the Opposition camp along with the two sacked Ministers.

The defectors were reported to form a new coalition with the Opposition Group calling on Prime Minister Sogavare to step down however the Prime Minister however rejected any call for his resignation.

Mr Sogavare said he was elected to power by parliament and anyone wanting to remove him from power must do so within the floor of parliament.

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