27 Oct 2015

Solomons coalition takes speaker to court

2:50 pm on 27 October 2015

The political parties making up the Solomon Islands government coalition have called for a judicial review to decide on the legality of the Speaker of Parliament granting a motion of no confidence without evidence of any rupture in the coalition grouping.

Last week, Ajilon Jasper Nasiu accepted the opposition leader Jeremiah Manele's application for a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and scheduled it for a vote on Friday.

Solomon Islands coat of arms on Parliament buildings in Honiara

Solomon Islands coat of arms on Parliament buildings in Honiara Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

But the registrar of political parties, Calvin Ziru, says the parties making up the government coalition have called for an urgent judicial review to be held on Thursday in the High Court with three main issues of contention.

"They want a declaration that the coalition government established under the political parties act is the government in office; they want a declaration that unless a political party or the coalition of parties withdraws, revokes or rescinds the coalition no individual MP can submit a motion of no confidence; and I think the final order that they are asking for is an order prohibiting the speaker of parliament from presiding over Friday's motion of no confidence."

The court action is the latest twist in the ongoing political upheaval in Honiara with the Registrar of Political Parties confirming the merging of the entire independent group into the government coalition's Peoples Alliance Party.

Mr Ziru says the latest movement and the failure of the seven resigned ministers to renounce their membership to their coalition parties means government now has 41 MPs registered in its coalition grouping.