Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Opposition numbers less by one - TORA is on the move

Hon. James Tora (photo: parliament website)

In another some-what expected twist in Solomon Islands politics, Hon. James Tora, MP for Ulawa-Ugi has joined the government. 

He was sworn-in yesterday 31st August as the new Minister for Police and National Security.

This has occurred despite Opposition's earlier statement in Solomon Star that they are sticking together.

Hon James Tora is a Member of Solomon Islands Democratic Party and is serving his third term in Parliament. He first entered Parliament in December 2004 in a bye-election.

As a Member of Parliament James Tora's switch is not a surprise as this is not the first time for him to 'cross the floor'. After the April 5th elections in 2006, James Tora was also at the centre of political tug-of-war between the two opposing camps.

At that time he was with the Snyder/ Kemakeza-led camp and because of the fear then that he was going to be easily lured to the other camp he had to be swiftly taken by outboard motor powered engine to Sir Allan's lodge in Savo to be physically away from the then intense 'horse-trading'.  

He therefore was part of the group that voted Snyder Rini as PM on 18th April 2006. He however later switched sides to join Sogavare and helped voted him to become the Prime Minister for the GCCG. He later deserted GCCG in a mass ministerial resignation and  helped Dr. Sikua to form the CNURA.

For now we wish Hon. James Tora all the best of luck and hope that his tenure with the current Philip-led government will last for some time.

Tora's switch now leaves the Opposition with 23 members and the government with 25. All the 23 ministerial portfolios are now being filled and including the Prime Minister this brings the total number of Ministers to 24, with so far only one known government backbencher. He is Namson Tran, MP for West Honiara.

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