22 Aug 2005

Premier of Temotu in Solomons gathers political support

7:31 am on 22 August 2005

The Premier of Temotu province in Solomon Islands, Johnson Levella, has attempted to shore up support ahead of an expected attempt to oust him this week.

He has brought Walter Rotobanaki, into his government, after the defection of Trade and Tourism Minister, Clement Menapa, last week.

Mr Menapa is the second minister to pull out of the provincial authority in the past month, after the member for Vanikoro, Ben Fono, resigned as Home Affairs Minister in protest at what he claimed was a failure to hold consultations with all parties over the planned forestry and tourism venture on the island.

Our correspondent says Mr Levella has the backing of 11 of the 17 members but there are expectations his 32 month old government could face a vote of no confidence this week.