The Island Sun has obtained exclusive access to a letter written by United Democratic Party’s (UDP) President, Sir Tommy Chan, revoking Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare's membership in the Party.
The letter revoking his membership was said to have been hand-delivered to Mr Sogavare’s Executive Personal Secretary (EPS), Suzie Wale, at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon.
The letter is said to contain formal complaints from Coalition Partners about Mr Sogavare’s leadership style and performance since the DCC Government took office two years ago.
Copies of the letter were reportedly distributed to all 18 registered members of the UDP as well as the President of the People’s Alliance Party (PAP), Sir Nathaniel Waena and the Kadere Party of Solomon Islands’ President, Peter Boyers.
Writing in the Island Sun senior journalist and former MP Alfred Sasako says that the UDP was prompted to act following a formal complaint lodged by Sir Nathaniel in a meeting with Mr Sogavare last week.
Mr Sogavare allegedly told PAP executive members including Sir Nathaniel that he (Sogavare) does not recognise the Political Parties Integrity Act 2014.
“The PPIA is nothing. I have Cabinet and Caucus to govern this country based on the Constitution,” Mr Sogavare allegedly told the PAP meeting.
“The statement infuriated Sir Nathaniel to the extent that he threatened to walk out, but PAP members convinced him to stay so he did,” those who attended the meeting said.
Extracts from the letter by Sir Tommy Chan to the Prime Minister contained the following;
“The Coalition Executives have expressed grave concerns for your failure to give due recognition to the governing body of the DCC coalition parties under the PPI Act Schedule 2.
“By Resolution of the Coalition parties dated 6 November 2016, UDP has been tasked to address the fluidity and seriousness of the situation for and in the best interest of Solomon Islands.
“For instance, on 8th November, I was informed in a letter from the President of People’s Alliance Party and reinforced by the President of Kadere Party, both senior coalition partners, that you demonstrated no respect whatsoever for the provisions of the PPI Act and therefore the UDP Constitution,” the letter dated November 9, 2016, said.
“Further regrettably, the UDP has been falsely criticised for its inability to progress a number of fundamental and priority issues under your leadership as Prime Minister. Collectively, there is growing concerns within the Coalition over the diminishing level of public trust and support in the delivery of important UDP policies and programmes within the overarching goals of the DCC Government.
“In view of the foregoing it is with my most sincere and profound regrets that I must invoke my powers as President of the UDP under the Party Constitution Article 9 to revoke your party membership pursuant to Article 27 forthwith.
“Consequently, I advise that your party membership ceases upon receipt of this letter, hence you are not entitled to enjoy the rights and privileges accorded to registered members of the Party and this rights and privileges include convening or holding of meetings for members of the Party, including members of its parliamentary group,” the letter said.
“In the spirit of the Act and the Coalition Agreement, I am obliged to support the wishes of our Party leaders and that of the leaders of our coalition partners to pursue a change in leadership within the requirements of the Political Parties Integrity Act, and of course in accordance with the Constitution of Solomon Islands.”
Sir Thomas said later that he had to act in the interest of the nation and its people.
He said there’s been little or nothing at all being achieved under Mr Sogavare’s leadership in the last two years, despite billions of dollars in budgetary expenditures.