8 May 2007

Solomons opposition says P.M. should not have greater control over key posts

3:34 pm on 8 May 2007

The Solomon Islands opposition leader, Fred Fono, says the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, should not have greater control over key posts like that of the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General.

Mr Fono says information reaching the opposition office is that the government intends to make certain amendments to the constitution to allow the commissioner of police to report directly to the prime minister.

There are also reports that Mr Sogavare is continuing his push to have Julian Moti made Attorney General, despite that appointment being suspended by the Public Service Commission and Mr Moti facing child sex charges in Australia over his time in Vanuatu.

Mr Sogavare was unavailable to comment but Mr Fono is not happy with the prospect of those key posts becoming political appointments.

"I personally think that such an amendment would be a recipe for dictatorship in Solomon Islands. I think there is wisdom in current position now, in which the commissioner or the attorney general reports to the public service commission or has the power on the appointments, and not the prime minister, per se."

Fred Fono.

Any change to the constitution would require the support of opposition MPs which the government is unlikely to get at this point.