Longest-serving premier Kiloe announces retirement

Choiseul Provincial Premier Jackson Kiloe. Photo: SPREP

Jackson Kiloe, who has been the premier of Choiseul Province for the past 18 years, is the longest-serving of all current provincial premiers. And now he is planning to retire.

Premier Kiloe told SIBC News he needs a break after his nearly two-decade tenure, during which he never took a holiday.

A shortage of staff was an ever-present problem, so Mr Kiloe said he managed the office by himself every Christmas to give his officers time off.

“It took sacrifice,” he said. “It took a huge commitment on my part and even sacrifice on the part of my family.”

He said he is grateful to the people of Babatana who supported him since he was first elected in 1999, but he will not contest in the next elections of the province.

“I’m hoping our future leaders will carry on from where we left off,” he said.

During the 9th Premiers’ Conference in Malaita Province this week, Mr Kiloe highlighted recurring issues facing provincial governments and called for more follow through on resolutions made during the conferences.

Rumours are circulating that he will contest the upcoming general elections for Parliament. Mr Kiloe said he does not have any plans after his retirement.

“I think I’ve done my part,” he said. “Whether it’s enough or not enough, I think it’s time for me to move on.”

By Merinda Valley

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