15 Jul 2005

Solomon Island politicians preparing for next elections

1:59 pm on 15 July 2005

Politicians in Solomon Islands are already gearing up for the next parliamentary elections, even though they are not due until early next year.

New political parties, including the Social Credit Party, have been launched, while others are still planning their national conventions.

A correspondent in Honiara says the former prime minister, Mannaseh Sogavare, leads the new Social Credit Party.

He is being assisted by a Filipino businessman, who the government considers is interfering in the country's internal affairs.

The Labour Department has reportedly been instructed to investigate whether or not the man has contravened the conditions of his work permit.

Meanwhile, the three coalition partners in the ruling Kemakeza administration continue to hold talks on whether to contest the election as a group or as individual party candidates.