10 Aug 2010

Major political players in Solomon Islands return to Parliament

9:58 am on 10 August 2010

Two of the major players in Solomon Islands politics were returned to parliament yesterday.

As counting draws to a close in the election, jockeying in the race to form a coalition has begun.

Jo O'Brien reports from Solomon Islands.

"The Caretaker Prime Minister Derek Sikua has been returned, along with Steve Abana, the leader of the Solomon Islands Democratic Party. Mr Abana's party has been the most successful in the election so far, and Dr Sikua says he's confident it will form a coalition with his Liberal Party, the National Party and the People's Congress Party. However, he says he's unsure about other parties in the last government coalition, given his sacking of five ministers in April. But one of those ministers, Gordon Darcy Lilo from the Party for Rural Advancement told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation it may be necessary to bury the past. Both he and Dr Sikua have indicated they would be willing to be Prime Minister if asked. However, a new independent members grouping, the Independent Democratic Party led by Snyder Rini now claims to have 21 members and the numbers to form a coalition. The OUR Party of former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has only three MP's but he's not ruling out forming a coalition."