Opposition Group hits back at Sogavare
THE Parliamentary Opposition Group has hit back at the Prime Minister describing his statement as a “cheap lie” from a “desperate leader with a guilty conscience”.
The Opposition was responding to a statement by the Prime Minister in the Island Sun today accusing the Opposition of inciting public outcry against his withdrawal of the anti-corruption bill.
“The Prime Minister should really ask himself why he withdrew that bill,” the Opposition said.
“In fact, withdrawing the bill should never be an option as there are other avenues to deal with it,” it added.
“The Prime Minister must understand that citizens of this country no longer buy cheap excuses coming out from his office in trying to regain his Government’s integrity following all its unpopular decisions including the withdrawal of the bill.”
The Parliamentary Opposition said it was quite surprising to see desperate statements coming from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“The Government should really be more focused in regaining confidence from the people rather than trying to blame others for their self-inflicted wound,” it said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Group also called on the Prime Minister and his office to stop misleading the nation.
This was after the statement issued by the Prime Minister insisted that the ‘Bills and Legislations Committee Report did not recommend the Bill for Parliament as stated by the Opposition’.
“The Opposition is surprised that the Prime Minister has chosen to mislead people on this.
“The Report clearly outlined in Recommendations 16 that the Bill be laid before Parliament as soon as possible.
“It is shocking that the Prime Minister and his Office had denied this. It only proves their arrogance.
“Our people are well aware that the bill was withdrawn for political convenience and nothing to do with the recommendations so stop making cheap excuses.”
Meanwhile, outspoken Opposition MP and Member of Parliament of West Makira, Derek Manu’ari said it’s dis-flattering to see this rebuttal by Mr Sogavare.
“It is very clear that the real reason for the withdrawal of the Anti-Corruption Bill has very little to do with the Bills and Legislation Committee’s (BLC) recommendations but a politicised move to delay the actual passage of the bill,” Mr Manu’ari said.
“It seems that the whole issue is now turning into a political fluke for the PM as he continues to try and regain the confidence and trust of the public.
“The public must be made aware that instead of withdrawing the Bill the PM could have allowed the Bill to pass through Parliament and amendments can be brought in later as a separate bill or be treated as corrigenda at the Committee of the Whole House stage of the Bill.
“With the high expectation of the people on the DCCG to ‘fight corruption head-on’ withdrawal of the Bill should have been a last resort,” Mr Manu’ari stated.
He added it was surprising to see that the PM is now using the BLC as the reason for the delay.
“There have also been many important Bills that the BLC has made sound recommendations on but those had been totally ignored until now.
“While the change in the PM’s regard for the BLC is a good thing, one can’t help but must ask, why is it that only now the PM is jumping up and down as if he is just aware of the existence and the role of BLC?
“Why has he ignored the BLC’s constructive recommendations in the past?
“I am not surprised at all to see the current rush for ‘damage control’.
“In such a case by default the fault must always be thrown back at the Opposition and Independent.
“This is not the first time in regards to the Anti-Corruption Bill.
“When he found it difficult to make it through Second Reading in the past which resulted in its deferment the PM also blamed the Opposition for misleading members of DCCG.
“Why should we the Opposition MPs try to mislead non-Opposition MPs as if those MPs are not capable of fully understanding the content and/or implications of the Bill?
“The PM must understand that there are many avenues available to deal with the Anti-Corruption Bill rather than withdrawal and no one is buying this political decision-making blunder.
“He should have been advised by his many political advisors that withdrawing the Bill will only give a wrong impression to the public- that the DCCG lacks any true commitment to ensuring that the Bill is enacted into law.”