16 Nov 2007

Solomons PM failing to induce MPs with ministerial portfolios, says opposition leader

1:54 pm on 16 November 2007

The leader of the Solomon Islands opposition, Fred Fono, says the Prime Minister is failing to induce the support of MPs with ministerial portfolios.

Recent days have seen a series of claims and counter claims by supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare over who has the majority in parliament.

The government claims that the former prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, has joined Mr Sogavare to bolster his numbers since the weekend defection of up to 12 government MPs amid calls for him to resign.

But Mr Fono insists Kemakeza, who is due to be sentenced on December 3rd after being convicted for ordering a 2002 raid on a Honiara law firm, remains with the opposition.

"And he's playing his tactics with the Prime Minister to quieten down the situation in terms of lobbying. Because if he is with the group why can't he be sworn in as a minister? There are five vacant ministerial portfolios that the Prime Minister hasn't found anybody to take on those ministerial portfolios."

Fred Fono