LEADER Of Opposition Jeremiah Manele has described the response made by the Prime Minister regarding the disclosure of the list of 39 political appointees ‘childish’.
Mr Manele said while he acknowledged the response made by the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition added that the response was emotional and subjective, detracting from the core issue of the matter.
He said the Opposition expected an objective response to the concerns that were raised.
“There is nothing unethical about the issues raised, as it is the role of the Opposition to guide the Government and so the need to express its concern.
“Above all, this is to ensure whatever decisions made by the Government does not have repercussions on the scarce financial resources we have and moreover on the part of the tax payers and at the expense of effective delivery of services to the people of this country,” he said.
The Opposition Leader reminded the Prime Minister not to personalize issues of paramount importance.
He said as a responsible leader, the Prime Minister should respond directly to issues raised.
“The Prime Minister’s response is childish and irresponsible. If DCC is serious in bringing the positive change they have been advocating from day one, they must learn to listen to the plights of our people.
“Therefore, the Opposition is mandated to ensure it protects the citizens of Solomon Islands from unwarranted decisions that will be detrimental to the positive development of this country,” he said.
Mr Manele said the issue at hand has nothing to do with the opposition leader being a former diplomat and former permanent secretary; but is a critical concern raised and shared by the people.
“The Prime Minister has stooped too low with his defensive mode. I encourage him to take into serious accounts the points raised by my office to help him make sound decisions and not decisions that are manipulated for political expediency,” he said.
In relation to the formalization of the political appointees, Mr Manele said the Opposition is in line with the view that once formalities are done, there is nothing that can be done to remedy the potential negative implications of this massive engagement.
As such, the Leader of Opposition said it is the right of the opposition to forewarn the Government to do the right thing.
He said it would be hypocritical for the watchdog to remain silent given the seriousness of the matter.
“While, the Opposition appreciated the statement made by the Prime Minister that he has nothing to hide, how can he justify his directive through his Minister to the Public Service Commission to create jobs and job descriptions for the political appointees? Is this not unethical, an indicator of an authoritarian style of leadership?” he said.
The Leader of Opposition added that his office would not be raising this concern if it was not an issue of national interest.
“The Prime Minister must understand that the Opposition is voicing the concerns of the people. “While the Opposition acknowledges the Prime Minister’s response; it remains doubtful that the final list would be reduced, but rather increased from the current one,” he said.