Prime Minister Manasseh Damukana Sogavare has justified his decision to appoint the former Permanent Secretary for Mines and Energy Rence Sore to the position of Special Secretary to the Prime Minister (SSPM).
This followed disapprovals expressed by the Office of the Leader of Opposition and Gold Ridge landowners over Mr Sore’s appointment, alleging Mr. Sore is yet to be cleared as a suspect in the $18 million Gold Ridge royalty payment scandal.
Prime Minister Sogavare said he wish to clarify to the Opposition and Gold Ridge landowners that the Police and Public Service Commission has cleared Mr. Sore of his alleged involvement in the Gold Ridge royalty payment scandal.
The Prime Minister said a Police investigation report into the case dated 9 May 2014 and a memorandum by the Chairman of the Public Service Commission to the Secretary to Cabinet on 10 November last year are evidences that Mr Sore has been cleared of the allegations.
Mr Sogavare said he took the decision to appoint Mr Sore as his Special Secretary according to his powers as Prime Minister.
He adds to refuse the findings by these two institutions would only mean concealing something sinister.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said it is unfortunate that the Opposition chose to denounce Mr. Sore’s appointment without checking relevant authorities the status of investigations into his alleged involvement in the scandal.
Prime Minister Sogavare encouraged Opposition Leader and his officers to show responsibility in exercising their watchdog role to carry out proper researches before issuing statements.
He said such documents that attest to Mr. Sore’s innocence can be easily attained by the Opposition office should they strive to attain them.
Mr. Sogavare said his decision was based on merit and his desire to get the best of commitment and skills to his private political office.
He said Mr. Sore was Secretary to the Prime Minister in 2007 when he was Prime Minister under the Grand Coalition for Change Government.
The Prime Minister adds he can proudly declare that Mr. Sore is his best choice for the SSPM job as he is capable of performing well in that capacity.