The National – Wednesday, June 22, 2011
THE United Resource Party caucus has sacked party founder and Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru.
The expelling of Agiru and Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape stemmed from their alleged involvement in the sacking of URP leader William Duma as petroleum and energy minister.
URP leader and Hagen MP Duma and deputy leader and Eastern Highlands Governor Malcolm Kela-Smith announced in a short statement yesterday.
“The United Resource Party wishes to announce that on Friday, June 17, the URP parliamentary wing unanimously resolved to expel Anderson Agiru from membership of the party effective June 17.”
Duma said there were many reasons but they were “internal party matters that are best kept away from the public domain”.
Duma said there were several reasons for the expulsion of Agiru but the main reasons were his continued and persistent efforts to undermine the URP leadership, the party and its activities and his conduct and behaviour resulting in the his (Duma’s) sacking as minister for petroleum and energy.
“Despite numerous attempts to get Agiru and Potape to a meeting, they have been actively involved in my removal as minister,” Duma alleged.
“The URP parliamentary wing and party executives thank Agiru for his valuable contribution towards the development of URP as a partner in the NA-led coalition government and wish him well,” Duma added.
Kela-Smith said the URP was a disciplined party and Agiru had his own agenda and “continues to undermine the party leadership”.
With the sacking of Agiru and Potape, “the party is now solid with nine MPs siding with Duma and Kela-Smith”.
Duma said a letter outlining the reasons for the expulsion of Agiru had been given to him and signed by parliamentary wing members, including Dei MP Puri Ruing, South Bougainville MP Steven Kama, Middle Fly MP Roy Biyama and Kagua-Erave MP James Lagea.
He said the minutes of the meeting were attached to the letter of notice to Agiru.
When contacted last night, Lagea denied there was any caucus meeting last Friday and said he was not a signatory to the decision to expel Agiru.
Environment and Conservation Minister Benny Allan, who is the MP for Unggai-Bena, said he was not aware of the decision to sack Agiru from the party.