SOLOMONS FINANCE MINISTER FACING POLITICAL EXILE

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Rini ignores order to revoke controversial ‘entitlements’

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, September 22, 2009) – Finance Minister Snyder Rini is likely to be removed from his ministerial portfolio, it was revealed.

A well-placed source told Solomon Star Rini has brought a bad name to the government in the recent days.

This was after he refused to listen to Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua and Caucus to revoke the controversial entitlements to Members of Parliament (MPs).

Also his decision to release a Malaysian tug-boat to its owners after the High Court forfeited it to the state for a mere SB$250, 000 [US$34, 000] was the second factor.

[PIR editor’s note: Finance Minister Snyder Rini is a member of the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission which approved the unusual entitlements to lawmakers and their wives.]

One of the senior ministers told Solomon Star, the prime minister needs to sack or reshuffle him to another ministry.

He said Rini has acted as though he owns the government by himself.

"Rini seems not want to listen to anyone.

"I think the only way is for the Prime Minister to sack him," the senior minister said.

Last Friday, Rini accused Education Minister, Mathew Wale accusing him of "back-stabbing and wanting to split the Government."

This occurred in full view of journalists waiting for a press conference called by Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua at his office.

The two then stormed out of the building and headed out in different directions to their vehicles.

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