Monday, 4 February 2008 3:42 PM

Sogavare to Boycott Government Functions

The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, has officially declared he will not attend any government functions until the Dr. Sikua-led Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement gives him a good explanation for the ousting of his former Grand Coalition for Change Government.

Hon. Sogavare was responding to a front-page article in the Solomon Star about his non-attendance of the function for the visiting Taiwanese Vice-President last Friday night and the launch of the government's policy statement late last month.

An unnamed government Minister was quoted as saying the absence of the Opposition Leader was 'very sad'.

But in a statement today, the Leader of Opposition said it was good that the government noticed his absence and he has reasons for his non-attendance at both functions.

He said he did not attend the Taiwanese Government-hosted function because it was held on Sabbath and he had expressed his regrets to the Taiwanese visiting vice-president and the Taiwanese Ambassador in a meeting last Friday prior to the reception, which they accepted.

As for his absence at the policy launch, Mr. Sogavare said it was deliberate and he will continue to snub future government functions until Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua and his Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement Government explain to him and the people of Solomon Islands why they ousted the Grand Coalition for Change Government.

The Office of the Leader of Opposition was represented at the occasion by the Secretary and Press Secretary.

The Leader of Opposition said he is not satisfied with the explanation the Prime Minister gave in Parliament for his removal and thus he will not show up at any government functions until the government makes an explanation which he is fully satisfied with.

He said the Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement was formed after the defection of a number of the former Grand Coalition for Change Government ministers and backbenchers, who could not tolerate his decisive action in dealing with corrupt ministers.

Mr. Sogavare said instead of talking about legislations to deal with corruption, the government should demonstrate its seriousness to tackle corruption by taking decisive actions now.

He said this can be by immediately removing corrupt ministers and subject them to full investigation by the Leadership Code Commission.

Meanwhile, Mr Sogavare wishes to inform the government that it will hear more from him on its policy statement soon.