Sun report misleading, PM Sogavare never defies caucus

PM Manasseh Sogavare

The Office of Government Caucus has refuted today’s front-page article of the Island Sun Newspaper headlined ‘PM Defies Caucus.’

The article authored by Mr Alfred Sasako alleges that the Prime Minister defied Caucus by appointing Mr Robson Djokovic as Chief of staff, a position that was already abolished.

The Acting Secretary to Caucus, Mr Robert Chris in a release says the article is absolutely false and misleading and only serves to demonstrate desperation by the author to discredit Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare’s leadership of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government.

He says the Government Caucus in its meeting on the 7th of March 2016 never concluded for the abolition of the Chief of Staff position.

“It rather endorsed that the position be maintained and that it be filled by a suitable candidate.”

Mr Chris says the decision by Caucus to maintain the post was made in light of the importance of the role of Chief of Staff to lead and coordinate the political staff in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

He says Mr Djokovic was appointed based on strong result-oriented work ethics and support for the policy objectives of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government.

The Acting Secretary to Caucus says the Prime Minister holds utmost respect for Caucus, Cabinet and due processes of the Government and has never at any time tried to defy or interfere with any decisions made by the Caucus, Cabinet or relevant Government authorities.

He says “Mr Sasako should have the courtesy of verifying his article with relevant officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, adding that the claim by Mr Sasako stating the Prime Minister’s Office could not be reached for comments is an absolute lie.”

“All lines of communication to the Caucus, PIMEU and Private Office of the Prime Minister within the PMO are open for enquiry including by email correspondence,” Mr Chris says.

On that note, he reiterates the call by the Prime Minister’s Office for journalists to abide by the newly updated Media Code of Ethics of the Media Association of Solomon Islands which embraces accuracy, balance and fairness in reporting.