11 Nov 2011

Solomons prime minister resigns ahead of planned no confidence vote

1:23 pm on 11 November 2011

The Solomon Islands prime minister Danny Philip resigned this morning just before a vote of no confidence in his government was to be held.

After several defections and the sacking of two ministers, the opposition was claiming it easily had the numbers to defeat Mr Philip.

Our correspondent in Honiara, Koroi Hawkins, says when MPs first filed into parliament this morning the opposition had the backing of at least 28 of the 47 members.

He says parliament was suspended after Mr Philip's announcement and is due to resume about now when he'll formalise his resignation.

"What'll happen after this is that the process is taken out of Parliament and it goes back to the election of the prime minister, which comes under the jurisdiction of the governor general of Solomon Islands. So the governor general has to receive the prime minister's resignation and he has to then set a date to open nominations for new candidates for prime minister and also the date for the actual election of the prime minister, and that whole process has to fall within four days."

Koroi Hawkins

Mr Philip had been elected prime minister after last year's general election.