Friday, August 13, 2010

Political picnic... who will offer the warmest camp fire?

Nine days after the elections, it is still very unclear where the majority lies for the formation of the new goverment. So far, according to media reports there are currently five political camps.

The first and probably the biggest group is the SIDP led camp, who are located at Heritage Park hotel. According to media reports this group claims to have a total of 30 members in their camp and is negotiating with other winning parties to form the government.

In this camp the probable candidates for Prime Minister are care-taker Prime Minister, Derek Sikua, Steve Abana, Matthew Wale and Rick Hou.

The next group is the one at the Honiara hotel. This group claims that all their members belong to the Independent Democratic Party (IDP), a party that was very quiet before the elections. It is understood that prior to the elections, only one MP, Varian Longamei of Maringe-Kokota had identified himself to have belonged to this party. According to Solomon Times the groups is proposing a coalition with the People's Alliance Party, the Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement and the Association of Independent Members of Parliament (AIMP), MPs which it says will have strength of 42 MPs in total.

In the Honiara Hotel camp, the race for the top job is between Snyder Rini, Gordon Darcy Lilo and Job Duddeley Tausinga.

The third group is the one camped at Pacific Casino, comprising members of Reform and Democratic Party (RDP), Direct Development Party (DDP), OUR Party and some independent members. The race in this group is expected to be between Manasseh Sogarave and Danny Philip.

However, recent reports from Solomon Star  have said that a fourth group has formed out of the the Pacific Casino camp. The report said that RDP members have shifted to Red Mansion Hotel at Panatina effectively forming a fourth political camp. This I believe has arose due to disagreements on their candidates  for Prime Ministership.

The fifth camp as reported by One Television is the one made up of new MPs such as Namson Tran of West Honiara and new North Malaita MP, Jimmy Rasta Lusibaea.  The motive behind this political camp is unknown. However, in this very unpredictable situation even the smallest grouping can carry the power balance and at the end of the day any swings they make may well be the determining vote.

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