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PM under pressure?

..Sogavare reportedly forced to sack two ministers under internal pressure


TWO senior government ministers stand to lose their portfolios as Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare finally relented under Party pressure to act, internal sources said.

“It is looking likely. And it could be as early as this week,” one source said.

This follows reports that one Party president told Mr Sogavare in no uncertain terms that if he did take action immediately, he would lose the support of some Party members.

The source said some coalition partners have become very unhappy about the way some ministers use public funds under their portfolios.

“These public funds are becoming like pocket money for some ministers,” the source said.

“It has created a rift of sorts within the DCC Coalition government. As a result, some Ministers have been avoiding Cabinet and Caucus meetings in recent times. That has brought pressure to bear on the Prime Minister to act,” the source said.

Officials approached yesterday were tight-lipped about the identity of the two Ministers.

Island Sun has however been reliably told that the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, David Day Pacha, is likely to be one of the two Ministers facing the axe.

Asked why, sources said it was to do with recent allegations he was seen having discussions with an Asian logger-cum-bauxite miner in a hotel car park in the dead of night.

A video clip of the encounter was published by both newspapers last week. To date there’s been no denial from either Minister Day Pacha or the miner

The other is the Minister for Infrastructure Development, Hon Jimmy Lusibaea, over his handling of the shipping grants.

Prime Minister Sogavare, however, may have to think twice about removing Hon Lusibaea as he could spill the beans on other senior DCC Ministers.