MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for East Honiara, Douglas Ete is the new Deputy Prime Minister (DPM).
Ete who is also the Minister for Home Affairs took his oath before Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui and other 20 Cabinet Ministers at Government House yesterday.
Political commentators described his appointment as a move to give Member of Parliament for Aoke/Langa-Langa, Mathew Wale the Ministry of Finance and Treasury portfolio.
Wale was initially nominated for the Deputy Prime Minister’s post during the nomination for Prime Minister’s candidate at Honiara Hotel, after he came second to Manasseh Sogavare.
It was a consensus decision reached by the coalition group at Honiara Hotel, that a runner up candidate in the elimination process would be the DPM.
However, a political twist took place this week within the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) where it nominated Ete for the DPM instead of Wale.
The basis for the shift is still be to be known, however sources claimed Wale traded the DPM post for the Finance’s portfolio.
Rawcliff Ziza, deputy private secretary of Government House, said only Wale and Snyder Rini were two big names that did not take their oaths yesterday.
Ziza said, only 21 ministers took their oaths except for Ministry of Finance and Treasury and Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services are still outstanding.
He said these two ministries have to be filled up by today before the Parliament meeting starts tomorrow.
Ziza added that this was important for the Minister of Finance to move a resolution to pass a budget before the Financial Year ends on 31st December.
However, Wale had already told his constituents in Auki on Sunday that he will be the new Finance Minister after giving away the DPM’s post to Ete.
He and Rini were not around during the swear-in ceremony yesterday.
Meanwhile, the 50 members of Parliament will take their oaths tomorrow before the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
Ete is a second term MP, after he was elected into Parliament in 2010.
He was the former Minister of Public Service and Minister of Forestry before he resigned citing dissatisfaction with the cabinet being “manipulated by one or two people”, and joined Opposition.
By EDDIE OSIFELO