Exposed: MPA allegedly dishes out money - Solomon Star News

Exposed: MPA allegedly dishes out money

22 October 2020
The 33 members of the Malaita Provincial Assembly after the motion of no confidence last Tuesday.

Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) for Ward 33 Ezekiel Teusua has been named as one of the MPAs who allegedly offered money in trying to gain support to overthrow the Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani. 

An investigation carried out by this paper revealed the mover of the motion of no confidence the MPA for Ward 14 David Solo Baerara and team were eyeing the MPA for Luaniungia John Kehosi and MPA for Pelau William Inopa to get them on their side at the eve of the motion of no confidence. 

The mover's side used the Sikaiana MPA Mr.Teusua who was sacked from the MARA government under the leadership of Premier Suidani early this year as the right man for the task. 

Information obtained revealed on Monday evening, the Sikaiana MPA visited Mr.Kehosi and Mr.Inopa with the money in an attempt to convince them to join the mover's camp to add numerical strength to oust the MARA government. 

The move by the Sikaiana MPA was described by many as unwise especially when he attempted to trap two MPAs who are portfolio holders under the MARA government.  

The Sikaiana MPA after discussing with the Luaniungia and Pelau MPA did an unusual act where he allegedly offered them a total of $6000 in cash. 

He gave $3000 to the Luaniungia MPA and $3000 to the Pelau MPA and asked them to vote for the motion to oust Premier Suidani and his executive. 

Like the first time MPAs, the Luaniungia and Pelau MPA watched their colleague MPA with great interest thinking it's the custom of the house as Sikaiana MPA who is a returning MPA plays the music he knows. 

The only problem is that his two MOI MPA colleagues refused to dance along with the music.

The Luaniungia MPA and Pelau MPA instead kept the money but were planning to return it back to Sikaiana MPA after the motion of no confidence last Tuesday because returning the money right on the spot would make Sikaiana MPA feel bad.

The money is yet to be returned as the Sikaiana MPA left Auki town the same day the motion of no confidence was defeated on the floor of the Malaita Provincial Assembly.

The MPA for Luaniungia revealed, "We tried calling his cell phone so that we can return the money, but he probably put our phone numbers on blacklist and avoided us.

"The money is still here with us.

"We do not use the money, we want him to come to get back the money in full.

"There is a promise that more money will be given to the MPAs who supported the move to oust Premier Suidani.”

The group relating to the nine MPAs who moved the motion of no confidence on Wednesday morning last week allegedly threatened the two MOI MPAs with the MARA government. 

Among the group that carried out the threat is another MPA who was sacked from the MARA government this year, the MPA for Ward 12 George Lomo.

The group demanded the two MOI MPAs with the MARA government to give back $20,000 given to them prior to the no-confidence vote, a move that took the MOI MPAs by surprise.

Those familiar with lobbying tactics said the threat by the group exposed the real amount of money that the Sikaiana MPA was supposed to give to the Luaniungia and Pelau MPA as bait money. 

"There is a possibility that the Sikaiana MPA might keep part of the lobbying money to himself and only dish out a little to try and lobby the two MOI MPAs," the group said. 

The Luaniua MPA and Pelau MPA said they stand with MARA government and no amount of money will pay their support and call on the MPA who gave them the money to come get the money back.

While clear evidence that money was used to lobby prior to the motion of no confidence last week, it is unclear who is financially supporting the mover's side to table the motion of no confidence against Premier Suidani and MARA government. 

Premier Daniel Suidani MARA government defeated the motion of no confidence last week Tuesday with an overwhelming majority of 24 -9. 

The two MOI MPAs for Luaniungia and Pelau were among the 24 who supported the Premier, while the third MOI MPA from Sikaiana is among the nine who supported the motion of no confidence. 

Repeated calls and texts made to the MPA for Ward 33 Teusuawere since the beginning of this week went unanswered.

Auki News Bureau