Solomon Islands Party Makes New Bid To Remove Prime Minister

Sogavare accused of violating United Democratic Party constitution

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 24, 2016) – United Democratic Party (UDP) has launched a fresh bid to get rid of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare from the party.

An earlier move the party’s president Sir Thomas Chan took to sack Mr Sogavare from UDP was found to be un-procedural both under the party’s constitution and the Political Party Integrity Act.

On Wednesday, UDP secretary Barnabas Henson wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties, informing him that they have set up an Ethics and Disciplinary Committee last Wednesday.

He said the committee met Tuesday this week and recommended seven disciplinary charges against Prime Minister Sogavare.

The charges were served on Mr Sogavare yesterday.

In a letter to Mr Sogavare, Mr Henson said the prime minister has been given 14 days to respond in writing to the charges.

“You are also entitled to appear in person or through representation by a legal counsel of your choice, at a hearing before the Committee,” Mr Henson said in the letter.

The charges are:

  1. Since becoming a member of the party on 1st December 2014, Mr Sogavare failed to act in a manner consistent with clause 27 (1) (a) of the UDP Constitution.
  2. Since becoming Leader of the Coalition, Mr Sogavare has continuously ignored and shown lack of commitment to the party manifesto and constitution contrary to clause 27 (1) (f) of the UDP Constitution.
  3. Since becoming Leader of the Coalition, Mr Sogavare has continuously brought the party into disrepute contrary to clause 27 (1) (j) of the UDP Constitution.
  4. On or about the 19th of August 2016, with intent, Mr Sogavare falsely accused the party contrary to clause 27 (1) (k) of the UDP Constitution.
  5. On or about the 5th of December 2014, Mr Sogavare assumed parliamentary group leadership of UDP contrary to clause 19 (2) of the UDP Constitution:
  6. Since assuming leadership of the UDP Parliamentary Group, Mr Sogavare failed and/or neglected to hold or call meetings of the Parliamentary Group contrary to clause 18 (2) of the UDP Constitution.
  7. Since assuming leadership of the UDP Parliamentary group, Mr Sogavare failed to consult the parliamentary group and invite the President to attend meetings to decide on party vote on important issues contrary to clause 20 (2) of the UDP Constitution.

Contacted yesterday on the charges, the Prime Minister’s newly appointed Chief of Staff, Robson Djokovic, said he’s not aware of any letter sent to MrSogavare yesterday.

Meanwhile, an official of the Office of the Prime Minister says UDP’s move to oust Mr Sogavare was based on their intention to switch the country’s diplomatic relations from Taiwan to Mainland China.

“UDP president Sir Thomas Chan was the man behind all this,” the official said.

“It was through his push that the government had to allocate the multi-million dollar under-water cable project to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei,” the official said.

“Now Sir Thomas wants the country to switch ties from Taiwan to Mainland Chinatown.

“But Mr Sogavare is standing in his way.

“To achieve his intention, Mr Sogavare must be removed.

“The charges they came up with against Mr Sogavare were mere cover-ups. Their real intention is to get the country to switch its ties.”

Solomon Star
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