27 May 2019

Case against Solomons PM thrown out of court

12:27 pm on 27 May 2019
Solomon Islands' prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Solomon Islands' prime minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo: Supplied

A court case challenging the validity of Manasseh Sogavare's position as Solomon Islands prime minister has been struck out by the chief justice.

The case was brought by an opposition MP, Matthew Wale, and challenged several aspects of Mr Sogavare's premiership.

Mr Wale argued that due process wasn't followed by Mr Sogavare when he registered his political party. Under electoral law, a party cannot be registered during the election period.

Mr Wale argued that Mr Sogavare's party was registered during the period - a clear breach.

He also argued that the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui, was wrong to continue with the prime ministerial election -- which is a seperate vote in parliament to the general election -- after he obtained a court injunction.

But in a ruling published on Friday, Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer ruled against both challenges, finding them both baseless.

He said Mr Wale's first argument was referencing old legislation that had been replaced; while the second argument referenced legislation that conflicted with the constitution.

Sir Albert said it was not up to the judiciary to fix or over-rule broken or deficient legislation, describing Mr Wale's challenge as "frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the courts' power."