24 May 2005

Solomon Islands opposition politician denies claims over resignation

2:42 pm on 24 May 2005

A Solomon Islands opposition MP is denying claims that he was involved in the forced departure by a government MP, Alfred Sasako, from a job in Europe.

Mr Sasako has returned to Honiara after he was asked to resign from his newly-appointed post as a press attache at the ACP or African, Caribbean and Pacific, secretariat in Brussels.

He claims this was as a result of allegations by opposition MPs, Joses Sanga and Nollen Leni.

But, Mr Leni says the ACP secretary-general asked them whether Mr Sasako, who was holding onto two jobs at opposite ends of the world, had or hadn't resigned as an MP before taking up the five year post.

"It was an issue of not resigning as a member of parliament and, at the same time, accepting the appointment with the ACP. So, we were asked to give him the background information. And, what we said was that as far as our regulations here are concerned, he needs to resign to take up an outside appointment."

Mr Leni says it is clear that Mr Sasako should have resigned as an MP rather than attempt to keep both jobs.

ACP regulations also prohibit staff from holding two jobs.