8 Dec 2014

More movements on eve of Solomons PM election

1:04 pm on 8 December 2014

MPs in Solomon Islands continue to shift allegiances between the two political camps on the eve of the prime ministerial election which will also determine whether there will be a change in government.

Solomon Islands coat of arms on Parliament buildings in Honiara

Solomon Islands coat of arms on Parliament buildings in Honiara Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

The two candidates for the top job are veteran MP and two time former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and a political newcomer, Jeremiah Manele, who is a former Permanent Secretary.

The new prime minister will be elected in a secret ballot by the 50 MPs.

Our correspondent, Dorothy Wickham, says at least three MPs have switched sides overnight with lobbying expected to continue right up until the last ballot is cast.

"It's going to be a tough one for our new leader. Whoever is chosen tomorrow, Solomon Islanders really want to see some change now. I think they are getting fed up and I am hoping that this frustration doesn't spillover onto the streets tomorrow when the new leader is announced, if they don't agree with the choice."

Dorothy Wickham says police have increased security operations in the capital and are calling for the public not to congregate around parliament for the elections.

In 2006, riots erupted because some people objected to the parliament's choice.

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