Heather yesterday issued a press released condemning the decision by Prime Minister Henry Puna not to stand down the deputy prime minister from cabinet on the basis that such action was “not warranted’.
Heather believes the prime minister lacks the courage to suspend his deputy and says it’s regretful that serious allegations haven’t been treated with the same level of concern by Puna.
He says the opposition and caucus are concerned with the stance taken by Puna, who has downplayed the gravity of the FIU investigation into Heather.
“The integrity of the investigation and public perception over the resulting investigation whatever that outcome is, will be compromised irrespective if there has been no interference at all while the deputy prime minister remains. This perception must be avoided at all times”, stated the press release.
Heather urges Puna to note the actions of other regional leaders who have faced similar situations involving their ministers “and have done the right thing to suspend them”.
Because of that Heather says the DPM has to act honourably as befitting of his office and voluntarily stand down to avoid any further conflict of interest allegations against him.