17 Nov 2010

Solomons by-election no threat to stability, says government

7:02 pm on 17 November 2010

A spokesperson for the Solomon Islands government says its majority is not under threat despite its fisheries minister pleading guilty to assault and despite the deaths of two other MPs.

The Fisheries Minister Jimmy Lusibaea can be forced to leave parliament if he receives a sentence of six months or more next Wednesday for assault causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting a police officer during the ethnic tension.

Two other by-elections are also in prospect following the deaths of MPs Toswell Kaua and Steve Laore.

This week the Solomon Star also reported both the government and opposition were trying to woo MPs over to their sides of the house.

But the Prime Minister's press secretary Alfred Sasako says the coalition still has the numbers, and he dismisses the newspaper story.

"It caused a bit of laughter within our office. I mean lobbying in politics continues all the time especially in the Solomons where there is no party structure to keep people within the perimeters of their party."

Alfred Sasako says the government's position remains strong.