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Ministers 'should have resigned'

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

MINISTERS in the caretaker government that stood under the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party for the August, 2001 general election should have resigned from the caretaker government, the High Court heard yesterday.

This was part of the evidence of former Agriculture Ministry permanent secretary Peniasi Kunatuba who faces two counts of abuse of office.

He told the court yesterday that 10 months after the farming assistance scheme came into existence, the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party, was formed by some of the caretaker government ministers that included Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Fisheries and Forests minister Ilaitia Tuisese, former Tourism minister Konisi Yabaki, former Home Affairs Minister Joketani Cokanasiga, Speaker of the House of Representatives Pita Nacuva, Foreign Affairs Minister Kaliopate Tavola, Education Minister Ro Teimumu Kepa, Fijian Affairs State Minister Ratu Suliano Matanitobua and Finance Minister Ratu Jone Kuboubola.

Mr Kunatuba said in a truly Westminster and democratic government all these ministers in the caretaker government that stood in the 2001 general elections under the SDL Party banner, in the name of transparency, accountability and good governance should have done the proper thing and resigned.

Meanwhile he said the implementation of the scheme was sanctioned by government with their full participation, including Mr Qarase and his office.

He said it was done in good faith to promote the efforts of government to return the country to normalcy at the earliest opportunity.

He said the 14 provinces including Rotuma benefited from the scheme. He denied the implementation of the scheme was done for the purpose of gain.

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Previously:

31 October, 2006