Sunday, August 29, 2010

Motion of No Confidence Looming?- Old fish back to dirty politicking

Reports from Solomon Islands have signalled that political turmoil is looming once again in Solomon Islands politics with the switching of sides of current government MPs.

It was only a few days ago when PM Philip was voted and given the mandate by Parliament to form government. His victory as PM came from a simple majority vote of 26 MPs out of the 50 Members of Parliament. Unfortunately one the MP's of his camp, the late Hon. Steve Laore passed away while celebrating their group's win with his colleagues.

The dead of the late Member for Shortlands was a tradegy and loss for Solomon Islands as a whole. An aspiring leader's dream was untimely cut short.

For PM Philip it meant his camp was short by a single vote, but legally the majority was still on his side. There were still 25 MPs on his side, which out of the 49 MPs now present in Parliament, it is still a simple majority.

Philip named his cabinet Ministers but strategically a very senior portfolio was left out. That is the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

With most of his big names already on the ministerial list, it was of little doubt that the delay in the appointment of a Finance Minister was mainly due to the post being aggresively sought after by two former finance ministers who still do not hold any portfolios. These two are Hon. Snyder Rini and Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo. Lilo was previously tipped for the Minister of Development Planning and Aid Coordination, another ministry that has not been filled. He was was a minister for the department in a previous government administration under Sir Allan Kemakeza. 

Undoubtedly, there was high intensity between the two MPs for the finance portfolio thus the delay in the announcement of a finance minister.

Just recently reports are that Snyder Rini has 'eloped' to the Opposition, effectively 'divorcing' the Philip-led government. What a shame!

If I were the leader of the Opposition group I would not welcome him as part of my group, because clearly 'power-hungry' is already written all over his intentions  to switch sides. He is a destablising agent in the new government and if he is to join the current Opposition which is seemingly 'strong and sticking together', he will definitely be of the very same effect, or even worse.

Obviously he is not a very likeable figure among his own colleagues and any open acceptance of him by the Opposition may lead to some members of the Opposition deflecting to the government side.

Reports however have alleged that Hon. Rini is not alone in his switch. He is bringing with him other IDC MPs.The trio from Isabel Province were some of the MPs named as part Rini's switching group. With a few more MPs on their side the Opposition would definitely have the numbers to win a motion of no confidence and form a new government.

But the Opposition should tread very carefully, for with such slippery eels and politically ambitious and indecisive characters in their mix, even a government of their making may not last for long.


The filled Ministries and the Ministers so far as as follows:

1. Prime Minister and Cabinet : Danny Philip

2. Deputy PM/Home Affairs : Manasseh Maelanga

3. Foreign Affairs and Trade Relations: Peter Shanel

4. Education and Human Resources Development: Dick Ha’amori

5. Public Service : Douglas Ete

6. Environment, Conservation and Meteorology : John Moffat Fugui

7. Mines and Energy : Mark Kemakeza

8. Law and Justice: Commins Aston Mewa

9. Agriculture and Livestock : Selwyn Riumana

10. Health and Medical Services : Charles Sigoto

11. Provincial Government : Bradley Tovosia

12. Commerce, Industry and Employment : Elijah Doro Muala

13. Women, Youth and Children Affairs: Joseph Onika

14. Culture and tourism : Samuel Manetoali

15. Lands Housing and Survey : Martin Sopaghe

16. Fisheries and Marine Resources : Jimmy Lusibaea

17. National Unity Reconciliation and Peace: Hypolite Taremae

18. Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs: Lionel Alex

19. Communication and Aviation : Varian Lonamei

20. Forests : Bodo Dettke

21. Infrastructure Development : Jackson Fiulaua


1. Finance and  Treasury

2. Development Planning and Aid Coordination

3. Police, National Security and Correctional Services

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