16 Nov 2007

Solomons PM gets support from opposition's Kemakeza

9:36 am on 16 November 2007

A former Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, who was convicted earlier this month, is reported to have joined the government as Manasseh Sogavare tries to bolster his numbers amid calls for him to resign.

Kemakeza is due to be sentenced on December 3rd after being convicted for ordering a 2002 raid on a Honiara law firm.

The government says Kemakeza, who had been in opposition, has joined the government as the chairman of the Water Authority Board.

But reports say this is being denied by both Kemakeza and the opposition leader.

Last weekend, 12 members of the government defected and since then Mr Sogavare has been trying to rebuild his majority, while the rebel MPs continue to maintain they have the numbers to topple him.

Kemakeza was prime minister from late 2001 until last year's election.