THE Office of the Leader of Opposition is calling on the Prime Minister to explain the logic behind the appointment of his new Police minister.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Police, National Security & Correctional Services Chris Laore said the appointment of MP for Central Guadalcanal Peter Shanel, as the Minister for Police, is yet again another “dubious” decision made by the Prime Minister in a span of two weeks.
This followed the Prime Minister’s controversial appointment of Bodo Dettke as Forestry Minister.
“In case the Prime Minister needs to be reminded, Mr Shanel has been arrested and charged on October 9th this year after he assaulted one of his constituents who reportedly went to seek financial assistance from him,” Mr Laore said.
“Shanel is expected to re-appear in court again. So how can the Prime Minister justify someone who has already been charged and under continued police investigations be appointed to look after the Police Ministry? This is ridiculous!” Mr Laore said.
He added that if the Prime Minister sees it inappropriate to allocate the Finance Ministry portfolio to MP for Aoke Langalanga Matthew Wale who is currently under investigation, then, how can the Prime Minister justify his appointment of Mr Shanel who has already been charged to look after the Ministry of Police? Isn’t this a conflict of interest already?
“The Prime Minister needs to explain and justify to this nation his unpopular decision,” the one time police minister of the last NCRA government said.
Mr Laore also questioned why the Prime Minister has not appointed any of his backbenchers instead of Mr Shanel.
“It seems the Prime Minister does not have any confidence in his backbenchers especially when it is comprised of some experienced and former Ministers in the past and last Government,” the MP for Shortland Islands said.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Leader of Opposition said it supports the call by the Leadership Code Commission for Mr Dettke to resign as the Minister for Forestry and Research.
It reiterates its call for the Prime Minister to restore integrity in his Cabinet and replace Mr Dettke.