PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has been accused of trying to suppress vital information of national interest by choosing the floor of Parliament to respond to allegations levelled against him.
The Opposition Group made the accusation yesterday.
“Whilst the Opposition welcomes and holds the Prime Minister to his word, what the Prime Minister intended to do is to ride on Parliament privileges and processes to suppress vital information on all the allegations against him,” the Opposition said in a statement.
“There is no doubt that the Prime Minister will again resort to Standing Order 24 in making statement on the many issues levelled against him and his Government which will not allow for a thorough debate on issues raised against him.
“The continued defiance by the Prime Minister not to fully inform the public about his dubious engagements with Nazar, Skyline and his government failure to leave up to his big and boastful promises; and instead opting to use standing order 24 to make statements in parliament is a tactical move to hide behind parliamentary privileges and processes to avoid media scrutiny.
“Not only that but the downside to the use of statement in parliament under Standing Order 24 is that it does not give parliament the privilege for its members to thoroughly discuss these big and controversial issues in detail,” the statement said,
It added that it is obvious that the Prime Minister opted to use Standing Order 24 on purpose and that is to limit further scrutiny from both the media and the Members of Parliament during Parliament meetings.
“What a disgraceful move by a leader who is trying to escape allegations given all the evidences provided which he has yet to inform this nation about,” it said.
The Parliamentary Opposition says for the sake of the people of this country and to avoid further public anxiety, the Prime Minister is encouraged to use other more open parliamentary mechanisms to address these issues.
“A place to start with is to use bipartisan mechanisms like a special select committee to investigate and come up with a more balance view on the issues raised.
“Through a special select committee a report then can be tabled in parliament where proper debate can take place.
“However, the use of media to instantly communicate and inform the masses for public trust and confidence is vital as there are serious issues that the Prime Minister needs to answer and inform this nation about rather than leaving our people in suspense,” it said.
The statement added that people in this nation need answers and as a responsible leader, the Prime Minister must not hold this nation in ransom and continue to remain silent over the serious issues raised by the Opposition and the people.