20 Aug 2010

Solomons' prime ministerial candidates revealed this afternoon

1:53 pm on 20 August 2010

Solomon Islanders will know by the end of today which MPs are in the running to be their next prime minister.

Two main camps have emerged, with both claiming they have the necessary 26 member majority to form a coalition government in a parliamentary vote next Wednesday.

The Solomon Star newspaper has reported that caretaker Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, will not be put forward as a candidate, as his alliance prefers Steve Abana.

Mr Abana, who was planning and aid co-ordination minister in the outgoing government, is leader of the Solomon Islands Democratic Party which won the most seats in the election two weeks ago.

The rival camp is lobbying fiercely, with party insiders saying veteran politician Danny Philip is a likely choice to be nominated as their candidate.

Former Prime Minister and opposition leader Manasseh Sogavare is also said to be negotiating for the top job, but is an outside chance, considering his party suffered heavy losses in the election.