Minister for Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs, Mr Clement Kengava has refuted the front-page article in the Solomon Star claiming that he requested rejoining the Opposition Group.

Mr Kengava, who took up the Ministry of Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs portfolio after switching from the Opposition well before the current political turmoil, said the Opposition claim was purely a political propaganda to give credit to its desperate attempt to get into power.

The daily newspaper reported the former National Development Planning and Aid Coordination Minister, Steve Abana, who defected to the Opposition the previous weekend, claiming that Mr Kengava had approached the Opposition Group at the Honiara Hotel yesterday, wanting to return to the Opposition bench.

But Minister Kengava said contrary to Mr Abana's fabricated claim, he went to Honiara Hotel yesterday to see Sir Tommy Chan over private business matters.

He said he must assure the nation and the people of his North West Choiseul Constituency that he was still with the Grand Coalition for Change Government.

Mr Kengava said his attendance of a special prayer meeting with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his colleague Ministers in the Grand Coalition for Change Government last night confirmed his firm position with the government.

He said he strongly believed in the strong leadership of Mr Sogavare and that the government would pass the 2008 National Budget when Parliament resumes.