11 Apr 2019

Sogavare relaunches party amid Solomons coalition talks

3:55 pm on 11 April 2019

The former Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare has relaunched his political party.

It comes as lobbying to form a new coalition government is underway among the country's newly elected MPs.

Manasseh Sogavare formed his Ownership, Unity and Responsibility Party (Our Party) back in 2010 between his second and third stints as prime minister.

In last week's general election, Mr Sogavare won a sixth consecutive term as East Choiseul MP after running as an independent.

But with horse-trading among MPs now in full swing, he appears to be priming himself as a candidate for prime minister by relaunching the party.

This election has resulted in another fragmented parliament for the country with no single party holding more than eight of the 50 overall seats.

The many independent MPs loom as the key to forming a coalition, and Mr Sogavare told local media he expects to soon announce that several of them will join his party.

Heading in to the election, Mr Sogavare declared his affiliation to the Solomon Islands Kadere Party, which has 8 MPs.

However, reports from Honiara indicate a potential coalition of six parties is being formed around the other party with eight seats, the Solomon Islands Democratic Party.

Local media say it includes the United Democratic Party, the United Party, the People's Alliance Party, the Solomon Islands People's First Party and Solomon Islands' Party for Rural Advancement.

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Former Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sovavare. Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins