10 Jan 2013

Former Solomons PM supports call for Lilo's resignation

2:15 pm on 10 January 2013

Solomon Islands' first prime minister, Sir Peter Kenilorea, is supporting a call for the head of government, Gordon Darcy Lilo, to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports that Sir Peter Kenilorea says the allegation of an extra-marital affair has put the conduct of the prime minister as a national leader into question and consequently demeaned the country's highest office.

Sir Peter agrees with the Malaita Ma'asina's assertion that now that the matter has been referred to the Leadership Code Commission, it becomes a constitutional issue that warrants Mr Lilo's resignation.

Sir Peter says he stepped aside as prime minister in 1986, when his leadership was called into question over the alleged diversion of relief funds.

His comments come as another former politician, Alfred Sasako, expresses sympathy for Mr Lilo but says leaders must account for their actions.

Mr Sasako describes the matter as an acid test for the Leadership Code Commission.

He says it is an opportunity for the anti-corruption body to demonstrate its neutrality and independence, especially because the Commission's head is appointed by the prime minister.