Solomons PM Defends Forestry Minister Appointment

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Sogavare: Despite Dettke’s logging involvement he ‘cannot be bought"

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 18, 2014) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has assured the nation that the performance of every minister under his Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government will be strictly supervised by Cabinet.

Mr Sogavare was responding to concerns raised by members of the public over the appointment of Northwest Guadalcanal MP Bodo Dettke as Minister for Forestry and Research in light of his logging involvement.

"I understand the concerns raised by members of the public about this particular appointment due to the holder’s logging involvement," Mr Sogavare said.

"But let me rest assure you that each and every minister of my Democratic Coalition for Change Government will carry out their ministerial duties under strict supervision by Cabinet," he added.

"Should a minister fail to carry out his or her duty as required by the State then there is a mechanism in place to address such a situation.

"DCC will not allow a member of its Cabinet to use his or her office for personal gains."

When contacted yesterday, Mr Dettke told the Solomon Star he will respond to concerns about his appointment at a later date when he settles down in his new office.

Mr Sogavare said Mr Dettke’s appointment as Minister for Forestry and Research followed wider consultation with members of his coalition government and their respective political parties.

He said he understands Mr Dettke as someone who cannot be bought and is conscious of doing the right thing and he is confident that Mr Dettke will use these qualities in him to advance the national interest.

He said the Democratic Coalition for Change Government is very clear about what it should do to take the country forward and will take appropriate measures to ensure Cabinet ministers do what is required of them to advance its policies.

"The DCC Policy is in the process of being finalised and this policy document contains huge and exciting development proposals designed to stimulate economic growth in our nation," Mr Sogavare added.

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