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Choiseul leadership Rift: Three leave Qoloni

Choiseul Premier Watson Qoloni is running a minority provincial government after three of its members have resigned and joined the non-executive members recently.  

Choiseul Premier Watson Qoloni

Currently, the non-executive side has 10 Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs) and the executive side left with six in the 16-member provincial assembly house. 

The non-executive members were reportedly planning to move a motion of no confidence against the Premier with its current number.

The rift came about after the premier, Watson Qoloni, terminated the Finance minister [now former] on Monday. The former Finance minister walks out and convinces another executive member and deputy speaker who also resigned. 

This week, the provincial health minister also tendered his resignation and joined the non-executive side adding the total number of the current non-executive to 10 and executive with six.

“On Tuesday, we demanded the premier to resign because we are not happy with the premier’s leadership qualities,” a non-executive member, Clement Kengava, told SIBC News from Taro. 

He said they had boycotted the budget meeting and the executive failed to pass the budget because there was no quorum.   

“Now that the government is with a minority number, it cannot discharge its function or exercise powers as per the Provincial Government Act,” said Kengava. 

Mr Kengava said they are now exercising the Act to call for a special meeting to support a no-confidence motion which will be moved by former Finance minister Greg Pita. 

He said they have submitted the matter to the speaker of the provincial assembly.

Speaker of the Provincial Assembly Greg Sokeni when called this afternoon said he is yet to receive any notice of the no-confidence motion on his end.

But he said he is anticipating that today.

Greg Sokeni confirmed  that the provincial assembly meeting cannot be convened and the provincial budget cannot be passed before the house as there was no quorum. 

This happened on Monday as well on Tuesday and as such he has adjoined the meeting for the next 14 days. The meeting will reconvene on October 27.

He said if he receives the no-confidence notice, it will be moved on October 27.

He added any new ruling government will have to quickly get the revised budget passed before the provincial house. 

Acting Premier Nerio Ulemiki this afternoon told SIBC News that the premier in any circumstances maybe or upon relevant legal advises may determine a sitting date for the assembly.

by Jared Koli

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