11 Aug 2004

Solomons ministers concerned by sacking of one of their colleagues

11:20 am on 11 August 2004

Several ministers in Solomon Islands are reportedly concerned that they may be dismissed following last month's sacking of the national planning minister, Nollen Leni.

The prime minister removed him for allegedly being disloyal

Mr Leni was accused of being part of a plot by about ten ministers and backbenchers to oust Sir Allan Kemakeza from the prime ministership.

Two ministers, who wish to remain anonymous, say they fear being dumped as many ministers now point the finger at each other.

However, the two say they were not part of the plot.

Meanwhile, there's confusion over whether Solomon Islands has appointed a new planning minister.

The foreign minister, Laurie Chan, told reporters attending the Forum Summit in Samoa that Peter Boyers was the approved candidate.

"And Peter Boyers, who's gone to be the new minister of planning, will take up this case."

Mr Chan's endorsement follows a report in the Solomon Star newspaper, stating Mr Boyers had been chosen.

But the Solomon Islands prime minister's office has now issued a statement saying it isn't aware of the appointment.

The office says it's received no official directive from the prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, who's also at the Pacific Forum meeting in Apia.

The prime minister's secretary, Toswell Kaua, says the prime minister had made it clear to the media, before he went to Apia, that the question of replacing Mr Leni wouldn't be addressed until he returned from Samoa.