24 Mar 2011

Election of Solomons opposition leader delayed

2:21 pm on 24 March 2011

The election of a new opposition leader in Solomon Islands has been delayed until this evening.

The election was originally to have been held yesterday following Steve Abana's decision to stand down as leader.

But the opposition office says it was delayed to allow for several MPs to return from overseas.

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says there's no official word on who will run for the leadership, but there has been speculation

"Everybody's thinking the deputy leader Mathew Wale might be running for that position, and who might replace him, there's word out it might be Douglas Ete, who's a newcomer to that group. But it's very unclear they're not saying much at the moment."

Dorothy Wickham says Mathew Wale is also busy with a defamation case against the Prime Minister and his former press secretary Alfred Sasako, and also has a case questioning the early parole of MP Jimmy Lusibaea before the courts.