11 Oct 2006

Solomon Islands MPs to vote today on motion of no confidence in government

10:37 am on 11 October 2006

The Solomon Islands opposition leader Fred Fono says a challenge to the Sogavare Government which had appeared stymied by the shortened session will be heard today.

Mr Fono had planned the vote for last Friday and then deferred it to this Friday, but Manasseh Sogavare had curtailed the session and left the vote off.

Meetings yesterday with the speaker, Sir Peter Kenilorea, and the parliamentary house committee got the motion re-instated to the order paper.

Mr Fono says he expects government members to use their common sense and support the motion.

He says the prime minister has tried to present the vote as an attack on the country's sovereignty in the wake of the row with Australia.

"However I categorically deny that because this vote of no confidence was initiated by the opposition group in Parliament trying to save the nation from international embarrassment which we have seen over the past few months as the prime minister has really tarnished the image of Solomon Islands."

Mr Fono says he believes he has the necessary support but cautions that Solomon Islands politics are very fluid.