13 Dec 2007

Increased police presence as Solomons parliament showdown looms

2:51 pm on 13 December 2007

Dozens of extra police officers are patrolling the streets of Honiara today as part of security measures around the resumption of the Solomon Islands parliament.

The long-awaited sitting got underway this morning, with MPs set to vote on a motion of no confidence filed by the opposition against the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police Peter Marshall said the force had been planning an increased presence in Honiara as a precaution against political events triggering public unrest.

This comes after more than a month of wrangling between opponents and supporters of Mr Sogavare whose High Court case to delay the sitting of parliament was dismissed yesterday.

According to the Speaker, Sir Peter Kenilorea, the motion of no confidence may not be heard until Friday.

Parliament is out of bounds to the public for today's sitting, except for members of the media and local and overseas dignitaries.