PRIME Minister Lilo and his deputy Manasseh Maelanga silently left Honiara yesterday to their respective provinces, resulting in the cancellation of a planned joint press conference with visiting Australian justice minister Michael Keenan.
Mr Lilo travelled out to the Western Province to attend the funeral of the founder of the Christian Fellowship Church (CFC) Sir Ikan Rove, who died Sunday.
Prior to his departure, he gave instructions for his deputy to stand in for him in the joint press conference, scheduled for yesterday afternoon.
Based on the instruction, the media was informed yesterday morning that Mr Maelanga and Mr Keenan will hold a joint press conference.
But officials of the Prime Minister’s Office were looking to locate Mr Maelanga yesterday morning when they realised he was already in his constituency of East Malaita.
“It’s obvious the prime minister and his deputy have lost touch with each other,” one government insider said.
“Protocol dictates that the deputy prime minister is obliged to inform the prime minister if and when he’s going out of Honiara,” the insider said.
“But in this case, it’s pretty clear Mr Maelanga left to his constituency without informing the PM.
“Is Mr Lilo still in control of his ministers?” the insider asked.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary Douglas Marau told the Solomon Star Mr Lilo will be back from Western Province this morning.
He said the planned press conference may likely to be held today.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA