PM leaves for Aust today despite uncertainty
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare leaves for Australia today amid fears a number of his ministers are scheming to bring him down from the top job.
Since the sacking of two of his ministers and the reshuffling of others last week, cracks in the unity of the DCC government continue to widen.
“The prime minister’s office has been over the last few days keeping a closer watch over its ministers,” one insider told the Solomon Star.
“This came because it suspects a number of government ministers are secretly meeting with a group of MPs to overthrow Mr Sogavare,” the insider added.
“Mr Sogavare leaves the country tomorrow to Australia amidst uncertainly over the unity of his cabinet.
“I will not be surprised if members of his cabinet resign en masse while the prime minister is being given red-carpet treatment in Australia.
“I can tell you things are not looking good for this government.”
Mr Sogavare will be in Australia until August 18, according to a statement issued by his office yesterday.
He’s going on his first official visit at the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Meanwhile, Deputy leader of Opposition and MP for Small Malaita Rick Hou has dismissed claims the Opposition was involved in the recent sacking and reshuffling.
Mr Hou told Solomon Star that the decision to reshuffle and sack ministers was solely a government decision and the Opposition had no say in it.
He made the remarks to dispel public speculations that the Opposition may have had its tentacles on the current rift within the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) government.
“The Opposition is not at all interested in taking over the government especially when we are only 16 months away from the dissolution of the current Parliament,” Mr Hou said.
“If the Prime Minister thinks he has made the right decision to axe and swap his Ministers, then he has the prerogative to do so.”
Meanwhile, Political Research Officer in the Prime Minister’s Office George Atkin denied reports alleging that a cabinet minister is soon to be arrested and that this situation prompted the recent cabinet shakeup.
Mr Atkin said the reports are mere speculations and advised that such queries should be forwarded to the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister John Muria Jr for an official response.
By AATAI JOHN