13 Sep 2004

New Solomon Islands minister satisfied with government fight against corruption

1:47 pm on 13 September 2004

The new Solomon Islands Agriculture and Livestock minister says his move from the opposition into cabinet will help further the push for strong and correct government.

Alfred Sasako was sworn in as minister on Friday, replacing sacked minister Alex Bartlett, who is facing charges, including arson and extortion.

While in opposition, Mr Sasako was an outspoken critic of efforts by Sir Allen Kemakeza's government to deal with high-level corruption.

He says he's now satisfied the government is doing enough to help the Regional Assistance Mission fight corruption.

Mr Sasako says while he has reservations on many issues, it's more important, in terms of the country's interests, that he has a presence in government.

"A lot of people in the Solomons have been very supportive of the stand that I have taken over the years. And I think it would be a real denial of their right to have correct and strong representation on their behalf in government if I remained outside of decision-making processes."

Alfred Sasako