WP Assembly members urged to choose right premier as lobbying reaches new heights and amidst concerns about the integrity of a premier candidate
AS lobbying intensifies for a new premier and the formation of the next Western Provincial Government (WPG), the 26 Members of the Western Provincial Assembly are called on to choose the right candidate as premier, else disastrous consequences will follow.
Two camps have been formed so far in the bid to secure the premiership and ministerial portfolios. Political commentators and former politicians in the province are fearing the worst if one of the camps assumes leadership over the province.
Long-time politician, Billy Veo, heads the Naqua camp, whilst new comer, Rence Sore, captains the Gizo Hotel camp.
MPA Veo has the support of the New Georgia group and some of the re-elected MPAs.
Both camps are likely to nominate their own Speaker of the Assembly, a practice that has become a norm at the National Parliamentary level.
Lobbying to secure the premiership and moreover, the executive government, is one of the most hotly debated topics on the streets of Gizo and in communities throughout the province, as well as on social media forums.
Reports reaching Solomon Star highlighted that people of Western Province are deeply worried about the outcome of the premier’s election next week.
Many have expressed their desire to see the new WPG serve the interest of the province and its people, rather than their selfish agendas.
Some others have expressed that Western Province must move forward since the province has suffered for the last 6 months from the ill decision by the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) to prematurely dissolve its provincial assembly, leaving the province in financial despair.
“Therefore, all the 26 MPAs must be cautious so as to play their cards right when deciding who is to lead the province.
“If we want to see a good stable government, all the MPAs must work together to achieve one common goal and that is to choose a leader with integrity as Premier to lead us to accomplish our development aspirations and ensure our common prosperity,” a retired Gizo-based Government Officer said.
With intensified lobbying going on, both camps are claiming to have 13 members each and are working very hard to get the additional numbers needed to secure victory.
Meanwhile, an insider further claimed that one of the camps wants to take over the leadership to ‘advance their own selfish agendas.’
The source added that if this group gets into power, then the provincial leaders and WPG administration must keep at tab on them, else they will destroy the future of the province by making ill and controversial decisions.
On Monday this week, the outgoing Western Provincial Assembly Speaker, Adrian Gina, issued a statement saying that Western Province needs a stable and strong government to drive the province forward.
The election for a new Speaker and Premier will take place next week on Tuesday 3January 2023 and Friday 6January 2023 respectively.
By ULUTAH GINA
Solomon Star, Gizo