9 Dec 2014

Solomons coalitions brace for elections

8:02 am on 9 December 2014

Solomon Islanders will later this morning find out who their new prime minister is and the government he will lead.

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands overlooking Honiara City

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands overlooking Honiara City Photo: RNZ Koroi Hawkins

It comes after more than 3 weeks of intense lobbying which saw the formation of two coalitions with both sides claiming they will have the numbers to rule, as Koroi Hawkins reports.

"The Solomon Islands People's Democratic Coalition is made up mostly of ministers from the previous government. For prime minister it is fielding first term MP, Jeremiah Manele, who has been a diplomat and most recently a ministerial permanent secretary. On the other side is the newly registered Democratic Coalition for Change, which centres on the former opposition. In addition it includes several newly elected MPs, among them the only woman to get into parliament. This coalition wants two time prime minister Manasseh Sogavare to return to the post. Political commentators in the Solomons say a Jeremiah Manele win is likely to mean a continuation of the previous government's programmes while Mr Sogavare's group has a focus on decentralisation and free education policies."