PM HITS OUT AT HOU
By IAN M. KAUKUI
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has accused sacked minister Rick Hou of conspiring to destabilise his Government and undermine his leadership.
Sogavare gave Hou his marching orders Wednesday this week for standing against government moves to switch from Taiwan to China.
Hou, the former National Planning minister, came out and accused Sogavare of lying to the nation.
Yesterday, the prime minister hit back.
“While I acknowledge Hou’s contribution as a senior minister, his actions to betray the principles of Cabinet responsibility by manipulating the transparent intentions of collectively-approved policy objectives as a tool to create political divisions within the DCGA and provoke political instability, is unacceptable and unbecoming of a national leader and former prime minister,” Sogavare said.
“Overwhelming evidence gathered over past weeks combined with ongoing assessments, confirms the ulterior motives and intentions of Hou and his co-conspirators to destabilize the Coalition, undermine my leadership and provoke social disharmony by using China-Taiwan issue as a political tool to dismantle the DCGA, which included a million dollar offer to each minister or MP who signed on in support of Taiwan,” he added.
“To avoid demeaning the status of Taiwan as a long-time friend for the narrow political interests of a few, DCGA leaders who were approached decided not to refer the matter to police.”
Sogavare claimed Hou had been working with the Opposition for ministers and backbenchers to boycott Parliament on the morning of the day when the motion to adjourn Parliament to a specific date was to be debated.
“The move was designed to get Parliament to adjourn to the next sitting day and later adjourned to a specific date to allow a motion of no-confidence to be move against the government.
“This evil agenda fell through because the majority of the government bench would not allow themselves to be corrupted by a promise of $1 million to betray the trust that the people of their constituencies placed on them.
“Unfortunately, the former Minister of Planning was actively organizing this agenda.
“I take this opportunity to thank my colleague Ministers and backbenchers for not succumbing to this agenda.
“It is unfortunate that some politicians are taking advantage of the China-Taiwan issue to pursue their evil desire to destabilize the government by pursuing a campaign of confusion and deliberate misinformation.”
Hou earlier told reporters that he’ll organise another press conference to reveal more.
He had stated that Sogavare threatened to sack Caucus and Cabinet members who refused to support the move to switch to China.