Solomons PM urged to visit Malaita and sort out differences

3:29 pm on 9 September 2020

Solomon Islands prime minister is being urged to go down to Malaita Province and sort out issues with the outspoken premier of the local level government there.

The premier Daniel Suidani has been a problem for the Manasseh Sogavare government since it switched diplomatic ties last year from Taiwan to China.

Suidani said Sogavare did not hold public consultations before ending the country's 36 year-long relationship with Taipei.

The premier of Malaita Province Daniel Suidani.

The premier of Malaita Province Daniel Suidani. Photo: Daniel Suidani/ Official Facebook

The premier has remained pro Taiwan even banning any aid from Beijing in his province.

Last week, things further escalated after the government ignored widespread public opposition and allowed a flight full of mostly Chinese workers into the country.

Suidani responded by announcing an independence referendum in the province.

Matthew Wale is the Leader of Opposition  in Solomon Islands.

Matthew Wale is the Leader of Opposition in Solomon Islands. Photo: Office of the Leader of Opposition

The parliamentary opposition leader Matthew Wale is calling on the prime minister to lead a government delegation including Malaita MPs down to the province to meet with premier Suidani.

"There clearly is little trust left between the two levels of governments, and this is not good for our country," Wale said.

Wale, who is himself a Malaitan MP, urged both sides to stop adding fuel to the fire and sit-down and sort out their differences.

"This situation has continued to deteriorate, and it requires leadership and humility on the part of the Prime Minister to seek common ground on the issues and chart a way forward that secures the unity of Solomon Islands and is respectful of provincial concerns," Matthew Wale said.