Monday, August 30, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seat belts for its gonna be a hell of a ride!!!

After a weekend of media speculation, Hon. Snyder Rini is back with the government side. This was confirmed with his swearing-in this afternoon at the Government House as the new Minister of Development Planning and Aid Coordination (MDPAC).

Lilo is now the new Minister of Finance and Treasury.

Having heard the news of his return, I have been pondering why Hon. Rini has finally returned back to the government side and to settle for the MDPAC portfolio instead of the finance and treasury portfolio which wanted so badly?

In the weekend it was speculated that Hon. Rini had moved to the Opposition because him and another high pofile MP, Gordon Darcy Lilo were tussling over the finance and treasury portfolio.

These speculations of in-fighting between the two were believaable for even the PM himself was caught in its midst and had hesitated to announce any names for finance and treasury portfolio, not even that for MDPAC.

PREJUDICED understands that initially as the leader of Independent Democratic Party (IDP) Rini was the one to become Minister of Finance and Treasury as his party has got some numbers to support Philip in his government.

But Rini's wish was never going to be granted as Gordon Darcy Lilo decided not to join his SIPRA members when they moved to Heritage Park Hotel and remained at Honiara Hotel to give Philip the numbers to lead government.

Hon. Lilo was also a potential PM candidate. His wishes to take the top political position were never kept secret but were publicly known since when a new MP Lilo first entered Parliament in 2001. Lilo was the only MP to have been a new MP in Parliament and to have stood as candidate for PM just after taking his oath as MP. Dr. Derek Sikua was another, but he was in Parliament for more than one year before he successfully contested prime ministership.

So Lilo may have long bargained his way for the finance portfolio through and among the ranks of Honiara/ Pacific Casino Hotel camp way before the PM's election. PREJUDICED understood the camp appointed Philip as their candidate without going through an elimination. Thus, Lilo may have agreed to relinquish his desire to be PM in order to have the finance portfolio way before the Philip was elected PM.

Lilo became a leading figure in the lobbying and 'horse-trading' that followed. A very influential figure among his colleagues, Lilo for sure have gained the favour of Philip through out the whole process and therefore was Philip's preferred candidate for the finance ministry.

The tussle between Lilo and Rini became an imminent issue after the election of Philip as Prime Minister, and as Philip began the task of naming his cabinet.

Amidst the disagreement, Rini decided to move to the Opposition with the hope that his switch would give the Opposition the required numbers to successfully move a motion of no confidence and to form government.

However, he may have realised that for him even a move to the Opposition would never make him take the finance portfolio as powerhouse Rick Hou is already with the Opposition and is their shadow Finance Minister.

So obviously his return to the government is not at all with good intentions but is filled with dissatisfaction and the realisation that whatever he does, as far as the finance portfolio is concerned he is in a lose-lose situation.

With the swearing- in of Lilo and Rini the government now has a total of 23 Ministers including the Prime Minister, with one ministerial portfolio yet to be filled.

But with fluidity, uncertainity in numbers due to the death of one MP and personal ego and ambitions on high alert, the fate of the new government is still very much uncertain.


Governor General Sir Frank Kabui swore-in two new Ministers today. They are Hon. Snyder Rini, Member of Parliament for Marovo as the new Minister for Development Planning and Aid Coordination and Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo, Member of Parliament for Gizo/Kolombangara as the new Minister of Finance and Treasury.

Mr. Rini was recently a subject of media speculation where he was alleged to have left the new coalition government for the Heritage Hotel group. The Solomon Star national newspaper in todays paper Monday 30th August 2010 reported that a spokesman for the Heritage Park Hotel group confirming Mr. Rini joining their group. It was believed Mr. Rini left the new coalition government because of a tussle with Gordon Darcy Lilo over the Finance and Treasury portfolio.
The swearing in of the two Ministers brought the number of new Ministers to 23 including the Prime Minister. Last week, the Prime Minister and 20 Ministers had been sworn-in.

PM Danny Philip to engage direct talks with Fiji

Solomon Islands new Prime Minister Danny Philip said that his new coalition government will engage in direct talks with Fiji. Speaking to the media during a media conference following his sworn-in as the ninth Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Mr. Philip said that under his leadership, his government will be working very closely with Fiji to maintain a healthy relationship.

The new Prime Minister stated that the isolation of Fiji by the South Pacific Forum is a serious mistake. He said that Fiji is the home of several regional organizations and significantly political leaders from Fiji are ones instrumental to the establishment of the South Pacific Forum.

Mr. Philip was optimistic that democratic rule will return to Fiji soon. He said, "as long as the Military regime is committed to returning their people to democratic rule, the question of timing should not be one of too much concern."

He said his government will discuss with the Interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama to try and address issues of common interest. Mr. Philip pointed out that one of the areas his government will discuss with Commodore Bainimarama is to identify the areas of electoral reform now being embarked upon. He said that where possible his government will seek to ensure that the reforms are carried out with genuine committment. He said that it is genuine committment that is important, not the exact number of weeks or months it will take to hold democratic elections.

Meanwhile, the solomon star newspaper on 28th August 2010 reported that Fiji's Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama have also expressed positive interest to working closely with the Solomon Islands new Prime Minister.

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

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Newly Elected MP Passed Away

A newly elected Member of Parliament of Solomon Islands has passed away in Honiara last night. He is Hon. Steve Laore, Member of Parliament for Shortlands. Hon. Laore is part of the Pacific Casino Hotel camp whose candidate Hon. Danny Philip was elected Prime Minister yesterday. It is believed that the group was having a celebration function at the Pacific Casino Hotel when he said to have collapsed.

No further information is yet known on the cause of death.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"VIctory for Solomon Islands"- Philip

The new Prime Minister elect for Solomon Islands Hon. Danny Philip acknowledges that his election is a victory for Solomon Islands.

In his speech following his election outside Parliament House, Hon. Philip stated that in the next couple of days he will be working very hard negotiating the composition of his new government and importantly the policy framework expected to take the country forward. He assured the nation that a policy document should be ready within thirty days.

The Prime Minister elect stated that institutional constitutional reform is in his highest priority.

Danny Philip won by simple majority

The new Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon. Danny Philip has won the PM's election by a simple majority of 26 votes, ahead of 23 votes for Steve Abana.

One vote was spoilt.

According to reports reaching PREJUDICED the situation in Honiara is generally calm and peaceful.

Danny Philip is the New PM

The Governor-General hsa announced that Danny Philip is the new Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.

The leader of Reform and Democratic Party of Solomon Islands (RDP-SI) defeated the leader of the biggest party in the current Parliament, Hon. Steve Abana.

The vote count is still unknown but PREJUDICED will provide you with further update as they come to hand.

Congratulations to Danny Philip!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Public Officers given day off as MP's vote for PM

Election day tomorrow, Wednesday 25th August 2010, has been declared a public holiday for public officers.

Sources reporting from Honiara said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has granted all public officers a day off so that they remain at home while politicians elect the nation's next Prime Minister.

This is the first time for a prime minister's election date be declared a public holiday. However, given the ''Black Tuesday" experiences of 18th April 2006 it is understandable that such precautionary measures are undertaken.

The Prime Minister's election, as the Speaker of Parliament explained, is not a parliamentary business. Thus, the public are not allowed to sit-in to witness the proceedings.

However, they are allowed to wait at the eastern entrance of Parliament House to witness the announcment of the winner of the 'second election'. An obvious worry therefore would be that the day, being declared a public holiday will allow more people to attend  the announcement of the winnning PM, thus providing more room for chaotic situations.

But with Operation Big Man  well underway we only hope that we will have a peaceful PM's election and later the formation of government.

Operation Big Man  will involve the deployment of 150 local police, members of Participating Police Force (PPF) and Military personnel to be present on parliamentary grounds. Another 150 local police, PPF and Military personnel will be working along the streets of Honiara and about another 150 or more on stand by.

So hopefully public officers, except for those directly involved with the PM's election, will enjoy their day off  in a peaceful and calm atmosphere.

Operation "Big Man" for PM's Election Day

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force will be mounting a highly visible policing presence within the National Parliament precinct and in and around Honiara city on 25th August 2010 during the course of the Prime Minister's Election.

According to RSIPF Deputy Commissioner, Edmund Sikua, the operation code named Operation Big Man will be led by the RSIPF supported by the RAMSI's Participating Police Force and the Military component (CTF).

Mr. Sikua stated that the focus of the whole operation is preparedness and prevention rather than reaction to situations and is also aimed at avoiding situation such that happen in 2006.

According to Mr. Sikua the operation will involve traffic checks at certain identified locations in Honiara and the Fire Department will be on alert as well. He further stated that access into Parliament will be restricted.

Meanwhile, Hon. Steve Abana, Member of Parliament for Fataleka and Hon. Danny Philip, Member of Parliament for South New Georgia/Rendova and Tetepari will vie it out for the top job.

The Election of the Prime Minister will take place at Parliament House and will be presided over by the Governor General Sir Frank Kabui.

Sogavare Remains Intact with Pacific Casino Candidate

In contrary to rumours that Hon. Manasseh Sogavare will vote against the Pacific Casino Hotel candidate, the former Primer Minister and Member of Parliament for East Choiseul has told reliable sources close to that camp that at no time did he propose any intentions to swing his vote.

Hon. Sogavare told reliable sources that he will never ever give his support nor vote for the Heritage camp candidate. In his defence he emphasised that those (at the Heritage Camp) are the very same people who have alleged his involvement in the hijacking of the RSIP armory at the Rove Police Headquarters in 2000.

PREJUDICED understands that this allegation was made during the debate of the no confidence motion on the floor of parliament in December 2007, by the mover of the motion Dr. Derek Sikua. The Sogavare-led GCCG government was removed from office following that no confidence motion and some of the re-elected MPs leading the Heritage Hotel camp are ones behind the ousting of the GCC government.

Lately, Sogavare told One Television in an interview that Parliamentarians must show maturity in the 9th Parliament and that they should be open up for discussion and dialogue on the issue of choosing the next Prime Minister.

However, at this time of intense 'horse-trading' we must also understand that whatever we think or hear from our politicians is not always final. For the fact remains that everything is still very unpredictable and anything can happen at any time. As we know our politicians are very fond of saying one thing and doing totally the opposite.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Traitor within candidate's camp?

Rumours are circulating that a prominent MP within the Honiara Hotel camp has made his intentions known that he is going to vote against the candidate of that camp in Wednesday's prime minister's election.

Sources close to the camp have said that the MP in question, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has told the Heritage Park Hotel (HPH) group through telephone that he will vote for their candidate, Steve Abana, instead of voting for his group's candidate, Hon. Danny Philip.

True or not, it is not surprising at all for such rumours to circulate at this time in Solomon Islands politics, as  with the election of a prime minister nothing is predictable right up to the last minute.

For now, we can only wish the two candidates well, and hope for the best.

Outgoing PM made emotional 'thank you' to the people of Solomon Islands

Outgoing Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua has made an emotional 'thank you' to the people of Solomon Islands for their support during his time as Prime Minister.

Speaking as the leader of Liberal party in a press conference hosted for the media by the Heritage Park Hotel Camp, Dr. Sikua said that as outgoing Prime Minister he is very grateful of the support rendered to him by all Solomon Islanders.

"I would like to say thank you very much to everyone in Solomon Islands for their support to me and my family in my tenure as Prime Minister  of Solomon Islands in the last two and half years", he said.

The out-going Prime Minister was obviously very emotional when thanking the people of Solomon Islands and was supported by PM candidate Steve Abana with a gental rub on the back when he almost broke down with emotion.

Dr. Sikua served as the ninth person to be Prime Minister of Solomon Islands and was in the top political position for about 2 years and 7 months. He declared that him and his party pledges their full support for the candidature of PM candidate Hon. Steve Abana.

Click here to see the full press conference taken by One Television.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Next PM: Steve Abana or Danny Philip?

The next Prime Minister of Solomon Islands will be either  Danny Philip MP for South New Georgia Rendova or Steve Abana MP for Fataleka  .

At the close of nominations at 4:30pm this afternoon, the two rival camps have made their nominations, with SIDP-led Heritage Park camp nominating Steve Abana the leader if SIDP and the Honiara Hotel/ Pacific Casino Camp nominating Danny Philip, party leader of Reform and Democractic Party of Solomon Islands (RDP-SI).

Hon. Steve Abana was nomnated by Hon. Andrew H. Keniasina MP for East 'Are'are and leader of People's Congress Party , Hon. Clay Forau MP for Temotu Vatud, Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua MP North East Guadalcanal and Liberal Party Leader and Hon. Job Duddley Tausinga  leader of SIPRA and MP for North New Georgia.

Hon. Danny Philip was nominated by Hon. Varian Lonamei MP for Maringe-Kokota, Hon. Hypolite Taremae MP for Central Makira, Hon. Peter Shanel MP for Central Guadalcanal and Hon. Jackson Fiulaua MP for Central Kwara'ae.

The nomination outcome has surprised many OUR Party supporters who have expected party President Manasseh Sogavare to also contest the top political post.

Culprit caught red-handed after trying to incite tension

A man was arrested by police last night in Honiara after he wrote insulting words against Malaita people at two different public spots, and claiming to be from Guadalcanal. The insults were written at the walls of one of the chinese shops in Chinatown and at the Museum in Point Cruz.

Reports say that after writing on the walls of the shop at Chinatown he went to Point Cruz to continue his plot there. However, he was still in the process of writing at the Museum walls when police caught him red-handed and had him arrested.

Police were alerted by eyewitnesses who saw him and recognised him as a man from Lau region in Malaita province.

The incident occurrs as Honiara awaits the announcement of candidates for the prime ministership. Nominations will close this afternoon at 4:30pm.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Zooming in to D-Day: 'Tough love' scenarios starting to re-emerge?

As the date to elect a new Prime Minister is announced by the Governor-General, lobbying has reached its near climax with the reported merge of the other camps to face-off with the stronger and more stable SIDP-led Heritage Park Hotel (HPH) camp.

According to media reports, the number of political camps has been reduced to two and a bigger (grand) coalition has emerged, with a total of 35 members in their camp. Solomon Times reported that the newly-merged group may now have the numbers and that the SIDP- led HPH camp is losing its support.

However, Hon. Matthew Wale, spokesman for the SIDP-led HPH camp told Solomon Star that they are unmoved by the other camp's claim of numbers. He added that some of their members are still to arrive in  Honiara and once they are all in town their numbers should be enough to make up the 26 members simple majority required to form government.

While it is still unclear who has the number advantage, one thing is clear that the math just don't add up with one group claiming 35 and the other 26. For sure, one of these groups is not telling the truth and is trying to mislead the people of Solomon Islands with this petty number politics.

For the new MPs, it is  clear that they are now fully absorbed into the 'dirty' politics of Solomon Islands as they are being lured into 'marriage' with either of the camps. For them it is a new adventure, a new experience. But for the 'old-timers' this is just the begining of another four-year battle for power and dominance; the survival of the fitness, the most cunning and the most ambitious.

Indeed, with the formation of a 'grand coalition' as reported by the media, what we are staring to witness is the formation of 'tough love' relationships between rivals who happen to have grouped together just to fulfil their own strategic interests and motives because the situation reqires them to. They have found themselves in a very uncomfortable situation where they are required to group together to face a common enemy and rival, and that is the SIDP-led HPH camp.

My worry is that if they really have the numbers and therefore the upper hand to form the next government, it won't be long before cracks will start to show again within the coalition. Any coalition of their kind will be a highly fluid and loose one, formed only to satisfy the requirement of the day, but never out of the genuine need to 'form and work the government'.

We have all seen how the GCCG crambled in the face of pressure. In the most trying times of governing when they were required to group together as a group with a common voice and solidaity, they disintegrated. Many would argue that the dividing factor then was the 'Moti saga', but cracks were already showing before the 'moti saga' was an issue. The row between the then Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the Minister for Forestry due to business interests related to logging is a case in point.

Thus, despite their profiles and ranks, since they may never work together with a common, vision, purpose, interest, goal and committment they may never last. As the holy book says, "the Lord helps only those who help themselves", my opinion is that such a situation like the one described earlier is one that is very afar from the criterion suitable for any divine intervention. The end result is a government that would only last for 2 years or less- an ineffective government whose behaviour is defined by the characters it is made up of, thus a government that would put its own interest before that of public value and concerns.

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.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Wakbaouti long Palamenti
Markem kosi anga long chair
Suti apu sekem hedi
Torowem pepa olobaoti
Mani karange karange hedi votem iu

Nomata mi dae lo makira
Samting me been out long time long iu
No mata mi wait for 4 ias moa
Nating gud bae come lo mi
Votim go bigi bele staka selen

Ting ting baek
Long iu
Lusim home
long time
kampen taem noma iu come
then iu lus go olowe nao
markem iu, lukim iu
lo nara 4 years moa

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Click here to see the list of Solomon Islands' new Members of Parliament and their political affiliations.

Next on the Agenda - PM's Election.

Eyeing Top Post: From left Steve Abana, Manasseh Sogavare, Danny Philip, Derek Sikua and Gordon Darcy Lilo. [photo: taken from Solomon Star]

After six (6) days of counting, forty-eight constituencies have had their results known and winners declared. The next 'big thing' now is offcourse the election of a prime minister and the formation of a new government. As reported by Solomon Islands media, lobbying is now well underway and the usual practice of getting into political camps is now happening. Here are some of the headlines in Solomon Islands media.

In Solomon Star, the headline is "PM's election the next big event". The Solomon Times online, reporting in the news media as National Express newpaper reported "Political 'Camps' Kick Start Lobbying Process"

So far some wining candidates have made their intentions known that they would contest for the top job.

Island Sun has reported that former Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua will definitely seek re-election for Prime Minister to continue from where he had left as the previous prime minister. As reported by Island Sun his current focus now is on the formation of the next government. But with a possible election petition looming it is still very unclear whether the final finger will point at him as the candidate to lead the next coalition government.

Dr. Sikua's former CNURA ministers who are members of the Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP) have so far scored the highest number, with eleven (11) of them successfully re-elected. On the outset it may seem that they do have the upperhand to negotiate for the formation of the next coalition government, with any of their prominent members like Steve Abana, Matthew Wale or Rick Hou as potential candidates. However, with unpredictable nature of our politics, it is still very difficult to say whether or not they will form the heart of the next government.

President of Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement (SIPRA), the country's longest serving Member of Parliament, Job Duddeley Tausinga, has also been reported as a potential candidate for prime minister. Solomon Star reported that the party has indicated that they will push for their leader to have a senior position in the next government, if not being the next Prime Minister and that they are open for negotiations with other winning parties.

According to another Star report, SIPRA will only have one candidate for the post and that any of their party members who would want to also contest for the high position will be running as an independent. This statement of solidarity, I believe, comes after earlier reports that another high profile SIPRA member, Gordon Darcy Lilo is also eyeing prime ministership.

Another candidate for Prime Minister is the Reform and Democratic Party (RDP-SI) leader, Danny Philip. As reported by Solomon Star RDP-SI's endorsement was made prior to the elections that should they have the majority, their candidate for the top job would be their party leader.

Manasseh Sogavare is also another predictable candidate for Prime Minister. Despite the disappointing outcome of OUR party in the elections, One Television has reported that Sogavare is still very optimistic of his chances of forming the next government, working closely with other parties such as the Direct Democratic Party (DDP) led by new West Makira MP, Dick Ha'amori.

Another quiet candidate is the president of the Association of Independent Members of Parliament (AIMP), Snyder Rini. Though not a political party, the AIMP does carry significant political weight in the house as shown by the  successful election of Rini in the last Parliament, with the backing of PAP. And though PAP does not have many winning members in this House, MP's such as Milner Tozaka, a former Diplomat will sure command respect from some of the returning and new MPs.

The President of People's Congress Party PCP), Fred Fono, may have been ousted, but another of the party's influential members, former diplomat, Seth Gukuna has retained his seat.He can be an uniting factor for any possible political groupings. Who knows? Anything can happen!.

Obviously, things are still very unclear. However, one thing is certain; that in order to have a strong coalition government, a lot of compromises and 'reconciliations' must be made.

For a start, it was clear in the last Parliament that Sogavare and Gordon Darcy Lilo cannot work together. Remember, Lilo was the main character behind the disintegration of the former GCC government, an experience Sogavare can't easily leave behind.

Along with Lilo, Steve Abana, the current leader of SIDP also played a central role in the ousting of Sogavare as Prime Minister. The pair was later sacked by Sogavare from the GCCG, a move which marked the 'begining of the end' of the GCCG regime.

The spiral of political events began with the demotion of Job Duddeley Tausinga as Minister for Forestry and Research, a move which later resulted in his resignation from GCCG and later the mass resignation of twelve (12) other GCCG ministers and backbenchers.

The last nail on the coffin of GCCG was placed by Dr. Derek Sikua who successfully moved the motion of no confidence against PM Sogarave, the first ever no-confidence motion to have been moved and passed on the  floor of parliament.

Dr. Sikua lead the CNURA government because he was the 'common denominator' in the whole CNURA 'equation'. He was new and politically seen as 'neutral'. Many of the 'old hands' can relate to him easily, rather than to see one of their 'rivals' taking premiership . Within CNURA there was political wrangling.

This was evident in the many policy inconsistencies and compromises CNURA as a government had to bear to keep the coalition intact. Things came to light with the 'eleventh hour' sacking of two senior Ministers, the re-elected Snyder Rini and Gordon Darcy Lilo.

Though sacked at the same time, these two also hold very differing ideologies and ambitions and for them to work together would mean for them having to "kiss and make up".

So whatever the outcome may be, we can only be certain after a prime minister has been successfully elected. Politicians are very unpredictable characters and sometimes they can just walk over their hard feelings against each other, all for the sake of grasping power. Once they are up there, that is when trouble starts to re-emerge. No wonder only one government has ever survived a full four year term? No wonder no government has ever been consistent in its policy formulation and implementation? No wonder political ambitions always override national interests and public value? No wonder iumi no save move forward lo development?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Long-serving candidates unseated

So far four long-serving former MPs have been unseated by newcomers.
The biggest ‘stori’ of them all has been the loss of former Prime Minister and longest serving MP in the last House, Francis Billy Hilly to Charles Sigoto, a person who has served as Chief Nursing Officer for Western Province for many years.

Another of the ‘hot’ stories is the unseating of former Deputy Prime Minister, Fred Iro Fono, to Auki-based businessman and owner of Rarasu motel, Jackson Fiulaua.

And as reported by Solomon Star, rampage has broken out in Auki after supporters of losing candidates come to terms with some of the results and the loss of their candidates.

Another long-serving candidate that has been unseated is Patterson Oti, who lost the Temotu Nende seat to newcomer, and senior Temotu provinicial administrator, Commins Mewa. Media reports also said that troubled has also flared the Temotu headquarters in Lata, after supporters of the losing candidate Oti targeted properties of Mr. Mewa.

Three-termer and former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, William Haomae has also been unseated by high profile candidate and former Central Bank Governor Rick Hou.

For more information and updates of the election, go to the elections update page of this blog or at Tutuvatu connection.

Troubles flare up: More police deployed to Auki, Tulagi

SATURDAY, 07 AUGUST 2010 07:55

POLICE authorities reportedly deployed reinforcements to Auki and Tulagi last night after election related troubles broke out at the two centres.

In Auki, Malaita, angry supporters of a candidate in Lau/Mbaelelea constituency grabbed ballot papers from the counting centre and burned them in front of election officials.

At Tulaga, Central Province, a group of men went on the rampage after outgoing MP Mark Kemakeza was declared the winner again.

They threw stones at buildings and broke into a shop owned by Mr Kemakeza, removing goods and anything they could lay their hands on.

Chief Electoral Officer Polycarp Haununu told the Solomon Star they’ve requested police deployment to the two centres last night.

He said police agreed to fly reinforcement in a helicopter.

In Tulagi, a resident there told the Solomon Star by phone 11pm last night police officers from Honiara arrived in a fast craft and have taken control of the situation.

The resident, who asked not to be named, said those who caused the problem were unhappy with Mr Kemakeza’s re-election.

“Kemakeza is from Savo and people here feel they should be represented by a person from Gela,” the resident said.

In Auki, SIBC’s Ruth Ramoifuila, who is covering the elections in Malaita, told the Solomon Star last night police were outnumbered.

Ms Ramoifuila said the men threw stones at the counting centre and demanded a particular ballot box be handed to them.

She said the group claimed the ballots in that particular box should have gone to their candidate because the polling station the vote took place was their stronghold.

But they claimed the majority of votes in the box were for another candidate.

“They went and forcefully demanded the box from the Returning Officer, insisting the box be handed to them before they could leave the counting centre,

"In the end the Returning Officer threw the ballot box to them and they burn it in front of the counter centre before they left,” Ms Ramoifuila said.

She said the situation was very tense but cool down after the group left in the trucks.

Mr Haununu said police would be deployed to ensure counting continues this morning.

But with the burning of the ballot papers, it’s not clear last night whether counting of the remaining Lau/Mbaelelea ballot boxes will continue.

Meanwhile, counting of Fataleka constituency ballots has been halted yesterday after one of the ballot boxes were allegedly tampered with.

That alleged tampering is being investigated.


For more information and updates of the election, go to the elections update page of this blog or at Tutuvatu connection.

Problems in Temotu

Police reinforcements are expected to arrive in the capital of Temotu province this morning after trouble last night from supporters of a high-profile candidate.

The Returning Officer in Lata decided not to declare the result in Temotu Nende after clashes between some supporters who were celebrating and others who were angry.

One News reporter, Fred Osifelo, says the rival supporters clashed in the streets of Lata and this morning there is a lot of damage from stoning buildings including broken glass and damaged walls.

He says the crowds targeted the shop of one of the candidates, Commins Mewa.

He says supporters of outgoing MP Patterson Oti were at the heart of the problems.

Mr Osifelo says he understands that more RSIP officers will be flying to Lata from Honiara this morning to be present when the poll for Temotu Nende is declared at lunchtime.


For more information and updates of the election, go to the elections update page of this blog or at Tutuvatu connection.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Election Updates

As Solomon Islanders gear up for the general elections last minute tactics will be employed by candidates to try and win votes. Tonight is the devil's night! As as we head for the polls and for the election of a Prime MInister and the formation of government, this blog will be updated occassionally. For these updates go to the Solomon Islands Elections 2010 page of this blog to view or to make any comments.