PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says he will address in due course concerns raised about the appointment of Peter Shanel as Police, National Security and Correctional Services minister.
His comments came after the Opposition called on Mr Sogavare to explain the logic behind the appointment of Mr Shanel, who is facing assault related charges in the court.
Mr Sogavare said in a statement he acknowledge the concerns and will “address this matter in due course”.
He did not elaborate what he meant by that.
The Opposition’s shadow Minister for Police, National Security & Correctional Services Chris Laore said the appointment of Mr Shanel 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 allegedly 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,” he said.