3 Feb 2005

Solomon Islands Prime Minister sacks two ministers

9:13 pm on 3 February 2005

Criticism of the Solomon Islands Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, is behind the dumping of two Cabinet Ministers.

Francis Zama has been replaced as Finance Minister by Peter Boyers, and the Communications Minister, Patteson Oti, has been replaced by Simeon Bauro from the Opposition..

Mr Boyers portfolio of National Planning and Reform has been given to another Opposition MP, Fred Fono.

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says Sir Allen Kemakeza sacked the Ministers because of the stance they took over RAMSI.

"Kemakeza has got a bit fed up with the attitudes taken by Zama and Patterson Oni in regards to the Regional Assistance Mission's work in the country. I think the issue now is not so much government policies, its all about Ramsi, who's pro-Ramsi and who's not."

Dorothy Wickham

A third Opposition MP, Daniel Enele Kwanairara, has also joined the Government and has been appointed chair of its commercial arm, the Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands.

The sackings and appointments came ahead of a planned no confidence vote in Sir Allen's administration.