24 Aug 2006

Solomons National Party rift deepens

1:30 pm on 24 August 2006

The newly elected leader of the National Party in Solomon Islands, Warren Paia, has accused the six parliamentarians who resigned from the party of lacking courage, integrity and conviction.

Mr Paia has been keen on maintaining the party's One China policy which is in contradiction to the government's diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.

The National Party had six ministers in the Manasseh Sogavare-led government but one, Francis Billy Hilly, was sacked earlier this month.

Five other ministers have now fallen out with the party leader, Warren Paia.

They include the foreign minister, Patteson Oti, who visited Taiwan at the beginning of this month.