12 Nov 2007

Solomons government claims it still has numbers despite resignations

4:35 pm on 12 November 2007

The chairman of the Solomon Islands government caucus says Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare still has the support of the majority of MPs.

Nine cabinet ministers and three backbenchers reportedly resigned from government at the weekend, saying they no longer have confidence in Mr Sogavare's leadership style.

Together with the Opposition they called for an urgent meeting of Parliament within the next seven days so they can submit a motion of no confidence if Mr Sogavare does not resign.

But the caucus chairman, Nelson Ne'e, says the opposition itself won't be immune from suffering defections.

"They are calling on the Governor General to call a new parliament to find out the numbers. You don't need to because the Prime Minister still has the numbers and only the Prime Minister could direct the Governor-General to call a meeting, according to the constitution."

Nelson Ne'e says an urgent government meeting has been called today to confirm support for Mr Sogavare.