Solomons Opposition Leader To Help With LCC Selections

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Leadership body tasked with investigating PM’s ‘misconduct’

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 15, 2013) – Opposition leader Dr. Derek Sikua says he will spearhead the process of appointing two new commissioners to the Solomon Islands Leadership Code Commission (LCC).

Sikua made the undertaking when he met with executive of local pressure group Forum Solomon Island International (FSII last week.

FSII had submitted a misconduct case against Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo over his alleged extra-marital affair.

But the LCC is currently without two commissioners after terms of the former commissioners expired last September.

Sikua was of those in the four-member nominating committee mandated to appoint commissioners to the LCC.

The other three are the prime minister, Attorney General, and chairman of Public Service Commissioner.

Prime Minister Lilo last week announced his withdrawal from the committee in light of the current complaint against him.

Before meeting Sikua last week, FSII chief executive officer Ben Afuga wrote a letter to him on the issue.

Afuga highlighted some facts which should be taken into consideration by the leader of Opposition.

Some of them include the delay to appoint new commissioners in the LCC after the terms of two former commissioners expired last September, also given the fact the appointment of the former commissioners took about five months to materialize.

LCC chairman, Emmanuel Kouhota earlier said that under the normal process, the four in the nominating committee will just meet and decide the names of two commissioners and submit them to Governor General for formal appointment.

Mr. Afuga said the facts above demonstrated that the complaint of FSII will not be considered for the next five months and that the Prime Minister will not be part of the nominating committee.

"Therefore FSII considers your office as the most appropriate office to spearhead the urgent commencement of the process of appointment of the two commissioners by arranging for a meeting between the Opposition Leader, the Attorney General and the Chairman of the PS Commission to make the nominations," he said in the letter to Dr Derek Sikua.

"The urgency of the new appointments is crucial as there are many cases referred to LCC since September last year could not yet be dealt with because there were no replacements.

"Thank you very for your attention and we hope and trust you will commence the process of the appointment of the two Commissioners as soon as practicable," Mr. Afuga said.

"May I also assure the public that FSII has no political agenda on this PM's sexual allegation nor [does] it intend to cause political instability.

"With a home-grown vision and mission, FSII is simply fulfilling its role as shown in its mandated objectives."

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