Pacific Media Watch

6 November 2017

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Sogavare refuses to resign in face of no-confidence motion

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PM Manasseh Sogavare refuses to resign ... no confidence motion debate in Parliament continues. Image: Loop PNG

HONIARA (SIBC/Pacific Media Watch): Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has refused to resign – sparking a wild debate in Parliament – despite the opposition group looking like it has the numbers with 27 of 50 MPs sitting on the Opposition side.

MPs broke for lunch at 1.30pm and were set to reconvene the debate at 3pm after a controversial morning of Parliament where barbs were thrown across the floor – from accusations of corruption, questions over loyalty and concerns about the state of the nation – with one MP saying the representatives were “acting not as leaders, but like children”.

The debate on the no-confidence motion against Sogavare may continue long into the night, with only eight of the 50 MPs so far speaking to it.

Though the opposition group is reported to have the numbers, with 27 MPs siding with the no confidence motion, Sogavare refused to resign. He said the people of the Solomon Islands deserved to hear the debate about why the no confidence motion was happening.

The motion was moved by the leader of the independent group and MP for Northeast Guadalcanal, Dr Derek Sikua.

Dr Sikua stated the lack of implementing government policies and major national projects, and confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister as some of the reasons for moving the motion.

While opposition group leader Jeremiah Manele said the motion was brought to Parliament on behalf of “our children; the unemployed population living with one meal per day; the public servants without proper housing from the government; and all Solomon Islanders”.

'Stop the bleeding'
“We must stop stop the bleeding,” he said.

In his debate, Minister for Communication and Aviation, Peter Shanel Agovaka, said the country was currently facing a cash flow problem resulting in slow of implementation of national projects.

He said switching sides leading up to the motion was unnecessary as leaders should have worked together to fix the current cash flow situation and implement government policies.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) reports debate may continue until late tonight.

If the motion goes to a vote and passes, the Solomon Islands will face a two week period in caretaker mode. A new prime minister will then be determined.

Frantic lobbying from both sides of parliament is expected to continue.

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