26 Apr 2019

Solomons GG says Sogavare's nomination and election was constitutional

1:57 pm on 26 April 2019

The Governor General of Solomon Islands says both prime minister Manasseh Sogavare's nomination for the top job and the decision to go ahead with the prime ministerial election on Wednesday were constitutional.

Sir Frank Kabui.

Sir Frank Kabui. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Rival prime ministerial candidate Matthew Wale is challenging the validity of Mr Sogavare's nomination in court and he said he would be seeking a judicial review of Sir Frank Kabui's decision to go ahead with the election despite a court injunction ordering him to postpone it until the court ruled on the case.

But a statement from Government House said the Governor General was acting in accordance with his constitutional duty to facilitate the election of the prime minister.

It said the country's constitution said any member of parliament was eligible to be prime minister as long as they were nominated by four of their fellow MPs.

And it also stated that any disputes arising from or in relation to the calling or conduct of the election of the prime minister shall be determined by the Governor General and the determination will be final and conclusive and shall not be questioned in any proceedings whatsoever.

In light of this the Governor General was of the view that he has performed his constitutional duty and the prime ministership of Manasseh Sogavare was valid and final.

The High Court in Solomon Islands has adjourned the case challenging Mr Sogavare's nomination for the top job to Thursday next week.

Meanwhile, the security situation in the capital has returned to normal after Wednesday's riots which broke out after Manasseh Sogavare was announced prime minister.

The police commissioner Matthew Varley said there were some isolated disturbances overnight mostly on the eastern side of town near Burns Creek but otherwise he was urging Honiara residents to go about their normal routines.

However, police are still out in force and a liquor ban for the capital which was due to expire tonight has been extended to Saturday.

The aftermath of the riots in Honiara

The aftermath of the riots in Honiara Photo: Gino Oti

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