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Opposition PA joins Government

THE Government has offered lucrative contracts to certain political appointees (PAs) of the Opposition, it was revealed.

It is understood that the Government has recently offered two positions to two Opposition political appointees namely the Research Legal and Parliamentary Officer and the Opposition Press Secretary.

Spectators say that this is one way of silencing the Opposition and is a strategy used by past Governments.

A long time public servant within the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC), who refused to be named for job security reasons, said this could just be a straight forward offer with no damaging intention to weaken the Parliamentary Opposition.

In an interview with the Opposition Press Secretary Douglas Marau this week, he denied having any knowledge of the offers

“I am not aware of this but I know one of my colleagues have recently joined the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Even if I was offered any job at the Prime Minister’s Office, there is no point going down there because I am happy where I am and I will remain loyal to my group and our party which makes up the Opposition Group,” he said.

Mr Marau also added that the Prime Minister’s Office already has a Press Secretary so there is no point moving there.

This development comes amidst the Prime Minister’s Office ongoing process of pruning the unproductive PAs in the Government.

Four Political Appointees have been terminated following the recent culling after the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s performance review of the Government’s PAs.

Island Sun contacted the Leader of the Official Opposition and Member of Parliament for Hograno-Kia-Havulei and he confirmed that one of his officers has been offered a job at the Prime Minister’s Office but said he was not sure if there is an intention to weaken the Opposition Office.

“Yes one of my Research Officers has resigned.

“He has been offered a post at the Prime Minister’s Office as Policy Secretary of the Productive Sector.

“I am not sure whether PMO’s intention is to weaken the Opposition Office but we are now working to find a replacement,” said Hon Manele.