1 Dec 2014

Solomons poised for PMs elections

From , 4:05 pm on 1 December 2014

The Solomon Islands is poised for the election of its Prime Minister at a date expected to be set early today or tomorrow.

A front runner in the race to form government has emerged over the weekend in the form of the Solomon Islands People's Coalition made up four political parties and 29 MPs of the 50 member parliament.

The Political Parties Commission is due to submit finalised coalition agreements to Government House after which a date will be set for the Prime Ministerial election.

The Registrar of the Political Parties Commission Calvin Ziru spoke with Koroi Hawkins about the political developments in the Honiara.

CALVIN ZIRU: Yes so the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties has received a coalition agreement with a list of the members of parliament that belong to the parties in the coalition. And we have also received the membership forms for each of the parties for their members of parliament. Including membership forms that were signed by formerly independent members of parliament, who were elected as independents, who are now taking on membership into one of the four political parties who have signed the coalition agreement. This coalition agreement was submitted to us late on Friday by the Democratic Alliance Party DAP, The Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement or SIPRA as well as the Solomon Islands People First Party and the Peoples Alliance Party. And as it stands, out of the 50 members of parliament, on the forms that we have received, the coalition has 29 members of parliament. Which is a majority. I think the process from here onward would be for the commission to, very quickly, review this particular coalition agreement and if it is satisfied of the numerical strength of this group, to then confirm an appointment with government house to inform the Governor General.

KOROI HAWKINS: And how soon do you expect that to happen?

CZ: Well because we've received this on Friday the Commission should meet early today and it can be as early as this afternoon, in terms of the meeting with the Governor General. That meeting will be between the Chairperson of the Political Parties Commission who is Sir Paul Tovua and the Governor General himself.

KH: And is this set in stone? Can we honestly say now, safely say that this is the new government?

CZ: This coalition is called the Solomon Islands People's Coalition, in terms of whether it can be set in stone, really a coalition is provided for under the act but there are also procedures from which a party can remove itself from a coalition. That normally takes 30 days withdrawal notice to the other parties. But there are also other provisions within the act that allow for much swifter withdrawal and that can basically alter the numbers. So even for a coalition, as we have advised this coalition as well as the other political party groupings, it's really until the election of the Prime Minister that you can actually be sure and safe. So in the Solomon Islands because of the fluidity and volatility of how coalition groups are actually formed, in the interest of progressing the formation of a government, we talked to both the party groups to, you know, reinsure, reinforce their, the strength of their coalition blocks.

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