23 Mar 2011

Solomons opposition to choose new leader

2:22 pm on 23 March 2011

Opposition MPs in Solomon Islands are to meet this evening to elect a new leader.

The meeting follows the decision of the Democratic Party leader Steve Abana to stand down as opposition leader.

The Solomon Times reports Mr Abana has said it's important for him to step aside as the opposition seeks to revive itself.

MP Douglas Ete had earlier called on Mr Abana to resign, saying it was important for the opposition to perform its watchdog role effectively to ensure an effective government.

Sources close to the opposition say the former prime minister Derek Sikua, is a favoured candidate to become the opposition leader.

Other likely candidates are Mathew Wale, Job Tausinga, Manasseh Sogavare and Rick Hou.