14 Jul 2011

Solomons opposition concedes government strength

3:12 pm on 14 July 2011

The opposition's deputy leader in Solomon Islands concedes the government is in a solid position, although he rejects speculation three more opposition members are likely to cross the floor.

MPs Seth Gukuna, Samuel Iduri, and Milner Tozaka have denied media reports they are likely to leave the opposition.

The opposition's deputy leader Matthew Wale says that means 11 MPs remain outside of government.

"That includes the one independent, John Maniaru, who is also the leader of the independents but is leading only himself at present. So there is only 11 and there is 39 in government. So the government is very solid, in so far as numbers go in any case. So I can't understand why anybody else would want to go join."

Matthew Wale says the earlier media reports may have come from officials in the opposition office who were unhappy their positions were being readvertised.

He says the opposition needs competent university-educated research officials to be effective.