SOLOMON ISLANDS PUBLIC WORKS MINISTER FIRED

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 20) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza sacked former Member of Parliament for East Kwaio and Caretaker Minister Department of Infrastructure and Works Alfred Sasako yesterday.

Sir Allan’s action came following recent rulings of the Leadership Code Commission.

According to Sir Allan, the recent rulings of the Leadership Code Commission have had adverse effects to the good name of the Caretaker Government.

"Hence, has distorted your political conduct and questioned your attitude as a Minister of the Crown. That said, I am left with no options but to recommend to His Excellency the Governor General to revoke your appointment as Minister for the Department of Infrastructure Development with effective from today’s date (Sunday 19)," Sir Allan stated in his letter to Sasako.

The Leadership Code Commission last week fined Sasako SB$2,000 [US$282] for misconduct in office.

Leadership Code Commission chairman Emmanuel Kouhota said the commission had found Sasako guilty of demeaning his office when he had an affair with a married woman.

At the same time, Leadership Code Commission also reprimanded Sasako in relation to a case of taking up outside employment without the permission of the commission.

Sir Allan thanked Sasako for his leadership and services as Minister of the Crown adding that it was a decision made without any personal prejudice.

"I do hope that you will appreciate that my duty as Prime Minister is not that easy to bear and I am doing this in accordance with what I believe to be the best and sound advice, which is done without any personal prejudice," the Prime Minister said.

When contacted yesterday Sasako said he was not aware of the letter.

"I did not receive any letter from the Prime Minister about my sacking," Sasako said.

However, he said it was not a surprise for him as he had expected it.

"I am not surprised because it might be politically motivated because of my continuous accusation towards some of the donors. The Prime Minister has the last say and I accept his decision. Now that I am free I will be visiting my constituency this week to start preparing for the election."

[PIR editor’s note: According to PIR files, the Taiwan government has said it stopped dealing with Alfred Sasako because of he failed to account for project funds in response to Mr. Sasako’s questions into Taiwan’s funding assistance (read the story).]

Meanwhile, Sasako said he would fight Leadership Code Commission’s ruling over his actions.

"The ruling over my actions is not yet complete because the case is now with my lawyer," he said.

March 21, 2006

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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