Today, Friday 11th November, 2011 is a very special day- a one in a lifetime. This is because today is 11/11/11 and this triple 11 date has never occurred in history and will never come again in the future of humanity. That is in fact a matter of certainty as we are sure that this will never happen again.
In Solomon Islands, however, today is a day that has been filled with much uncertainty- not because of the 11/11/11 number coincidence but due to the political situation. Just after 10am this morning the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, voted into power on 24th August, 2010, had gracefully tendered his resignation at the dawn of a no confidence motion on the floor of Parliament.
In tendering his resignation, Prime Minister Philip said that his decision to resign was not a decision he made by himself but a collective decision of the NCRA coalition. He said the decision is for the best interest and benefit of the nation of Solomon Islands and its people, but claimed that the Sikua-led Opposition and the media collaborating to discredit him was a major cause of his fall. He however warned that despite the efforts of the media and the “perpetrators” of the no confidence motion to destroy him, they will never destroy the National Coalition for Rural Advancement (NCRA).
Prime Minister Philip then appealed to all Members of Parliament to form a good and sound government in the next few days and to continue on with the work and policies of NCRA.
Hours before the Parliamentary session commenced the gates of Parliament were already crowded with people wanting to go and listen to the deliberations. Prejudiced sources who were present at the locations discovered that a majority of the people were in favour of a change of government, citing their disagreement of the Prime Minister’s use of the Discretionary Fund as the main reason for wanting the Prime Minister out of Office. However, interestingly, while the majority agrees that the Prime Minister should step aside, not many people agreed on a choice for the new Prime Minister. One person that was spoken to said: “Iumi no savve too. Oketa everyone ia sem sem noma” (We don’t know who is the best candidate because they are all just the same).
Obviously there was an uncertainty, confusion and anxiety amongst the sizeable crowd that gathered to witness the deliberations.
Small gathering of people along the streets of Honiara were quickly dispersed by the local police who were very alert to ensure no opportunists took advantage of the situation.
Generally people were generally relieved that the Prime Minister had decided to resign, but were unsure whether a new government would be of any much difference.
In the chamber the arrival of Gordon Darcy Lilo to Parliament before the deliberations caused quite a stir among the Members and the public alike. Hon. Darcy Lilo, the former Finance Minister who was sacked on the eleventh hour came into parliament and found himself standing at the centre of the two groups: his former colleagues in the government at his left, and the Opposition Group who were reluctant to have him upon his sacking yesterday at his right. He came into the chamber and stood right in the middle of the two groups before asking loudly: “Where should I go”? He sounded almost like a confused person.
But is Hon. Lilo really confused of where he should go? Many people were quite suspicious of Hon. Lilo’s eleventh hour sacking that it was the last move of desperation by NCRA to try and regain the support for numbers. It is known that Hon. Lilo and Hon. Bodo cannot work together, and it is believed that one of the main reasons why Hon. Bodo and his group of “grasshoppers” (re)deflected to the Opposition was because of Hon. Lilo’s presence in NCRA. The move to sack Hon. Lilo obviously didn’t work out and it was no surprise that just an hour after the Prime Minister’s resignation, and only a day after Hon. Lilo’s sacking, he (Hon. Lilo) was seen parading the corridors of the Office of the Prime Minister again. He had a meeting with the Prime Minister which lasted for almost 3 hours. Is that how a sacked Member of Parliament reacts? Well, obviously not- hence it is almost certain that the move was collaborative between Lilo and NCRA and obviously was miscalculated, perhaps because of the limitation of time or because the Opposition were already content with their numbers and characters.
Is Opposition stable?
The Opposition is obviously not stable. It is fragmented and with the presence of Bodo and his “ping pong” boys anything can still happen. The presence of “ping pong” politicians with the likes of Mark Kemakeza, Marting Sophage, James Tora, Stanley Sofu, Douglas Ete, and their ring leader Dodo Dettke will always be a source for instability. These guys are Rambos who are always willing to tender personal service for gain in cash or kind. Their way of doing politics is almost to the way prostitutes do their trade- gaining monetary returns in exchange for their personal presence and service.
While they may have gained thousands of dollars doing this cunny practice there is no doubt about how grave they have sacrificed their integrity and dignity as national leaders without sound principles.
So what the “stable” Members should do is to regroup and isolate the “shaky” and form a new government. Currently there are 49 Members of Parliament and my count shows that even if the unstable Members, or the political prostitutes if you like, are isolated and pushed aside, the stable serious can still form a workable government. Because Bodo cannot work with many Members of Parliament, his group- together with the likes of Namson Tran, Gordon Darcy Lilo, and Matthew Wale-should be isolated and be forced to form the Opposition to allow those MPs that are serious to serve the country (rather than themselves and their vested interests) to form the government.
Solomon Island belongs to every single child, woman and man of this nation- not just the Members of Parliament. So if you (MPs) are to represent us the small people in Parliament then do it with the Grace of God- not the grace of dogs.