14 Jul 2003

Push to retain Solomon Central Bank governor

3:48 pm on 14 July 2003

There are reports from Solomon Islands that the Government has been asked by Australasian officials to extend the contract of the current Governor of the Central Bank, Rick Hou.

Alternatively they want an expatriate to take over the position when the intervention force arrives in the country.

Last month Mr Hou indicated that he was not prepared to seek a third two year term, citing the Government's failure to rein in its spending.

He says the challenge for his successor will be to ensure the office remains independent of government interference.

Sources in Honiara reveal that the Cabinet is considering a demand that Mr Hou be encouraged to stay or otherwise an expatriate be appointed to head the Bank.