High ranking gov’t officials resign to contest polls
UP to 10 high ranking public servants will resign to contest this year’s national elections.
They include Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service Ishmael Avui, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Dr Lester Ross, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Aid Coordination Jeremiah Manele.
Others are under-secretaries and divisional directors.
Avui, who was farewelled Friday by colleagues, revealed this to the Sunday Star.
He will contest the North-East Guadalcanal seat, currently held by Minister for Lands and Housing Joseph Onika.
Ross is expected to contest the Marovo seat in Western Province, currently held by Opposition back-bencher Snyder Rini, while Manele will take on Selwyn Riumana for the Hograno-Kia-Havulei seat in Isabel.
Avui, Ross, and Manele are long-serving public servants with recognised leadership credentials.
According to Avui, the 10 high ranking public servants who submitted their resignation letters so far stated contesting the upcoming elections as reason for their departure.
He said his decision to pursue a political career came after a lot of planning and consultation.
“I’m of the belief that our rural people and nation deserve honest leaders who go into parliament with visions to lead and represent the people,” Avui said.
“More importantly I would like to give that perception of Solomon Islanders thinking of themselves as one united country through serious nation building,” he added.
Farewelling Avui on Friday, chairman of Public Service Commission Elliam Tangirongo commended him for his contribution to bringing many reforms and achievements to the public service.
“You have left with flying colours, a fine example of a career public servant,” Tangirongo told Avui.
“Your decision to leave the public service at this crucial stage is not easy but one that I believe you have thought and considered carefully with the present circumstances,” he added.
Avui had served the public service for 26 years, the last eight of which as permanent secretary.
BY BRADFORD THEONOMI