By Alfred Sasako
MALAITA Premier Daniel Suidani has arrived in Honiara for talks with the national government in what is seen as a major breakthrough in the stand-off between Auki and Honiara.
Premier Suidani and his 14-men delegation disembarked at Point Cruz at 5pm yesterday after traveling via MV Pelican Express.
He refused to be photographed or interviewed.
He and his Provincial Secretary Fredrick Fa’abasua will meet the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening later this morning.
Premier Suidani will later meet separately with the Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening Rolland Seleso.
“Yes, the Permanent Secretary would meet the Premier and the Provincial Secretary tomorrow morning (today). The ministry will take the opportunity to explain a number of breaches incurred by the provincial government as well as the Provincial Secretary,” Minister Seleso told the paper last night.
“For example, the referendum on independence which the Malaita Provincial Executive has endorsed is not in the Provincial Government Act. We will be seeking answers on this,” the minister said.
Minister Seleso said the other issue to be sorted out is why Provincial Secretary Fa’abasua denied instruction for his recall.
Sources spoken to said the premier was forced to seek the meeting with Minister Seleso after he found out he could not implement resolutions passed by his executive last Tuesday.
Amongst the key resolutions were a referendum on Malaita’s independence and the decision to meet the cost of keeping the provincial secretary in the event the national government terminates his contract.
“The premier and his advisor were put in an embarrassing situation last Tuesday when they realised the Provincial Bank Account had dried up. No funds were paid into the account since Monday,” the sources said.
It left the Premier in a situation where he had no choice but to seek urgent talks with the national government, it was revealed.
According to the sources, Premier Suidani had conceded the resolution on the referendum on Malaita independence.
“Instead, he has agreed a survey would be undertaken.”
But Minister Seleso changing the referendum to a survey makes no difference.
“The fact of the matter is that his executive has endorsed the referendum on independence. This is something that is illegal because it is not in the Act.”