PM’s RESPONSE ON BECHE-DE-MER LICENSE ISSUE “SHALLOW”: OPPOSITION

Leader of Opposition Jeremiah Manele. Photo credit: SIBC.

Leader of Opposition Jeremiah Manele. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Parliamentary Opposition has described the Prime Minister’s response to the current beche-de-mer export license issue as ‘shallow’ and without warranty.

In a statement this afternoon, the Opposition says they acknowledge the stand to prioritize assisting indigenous Solomon Islanders in business, but Dr. Reginald Aipia of the Ontong Java Development Company has a case to answer to at the High Court.

The case is in relation to the $10 million worth of beche-de-mer that was removed from the Fisheries Ministry compound in 2013.

The Parliamentary Opposition says the Prime Minister’s letter instructing the Fisheries Minister not to accept advice from the Attorney General, the Permanent Secretary for Fisheries and the Police is also ‘questionable’ .

Meanwhile, the Opposition maintains the action taken by the Prime Minister and his deputy is a violation of national fisheries regulations.

The Opposition also said the actions taken by the Prime Minister and his deputy shows a serious lack of trust in their Minister.

The Opposition said the appropriate action to take is to let the High Court make a ruling on the case before issuing a license for Dr Aipia.

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