Fragmentation a feature of Solomon Islands parliament
Freda Tuki Soria Comua has won a seat in the Solomon Islands parliament, just the third woman ever to have been elected to the country's legislature.
Freda Tuki Soria Comua has won a seat in the Solomon Islands parliament, just the third woman ever to have been elected to the country's legislature. She will represent Temotu province and appears to be the only woman to have won, out of the 26 women candidates. Results so far have seen the former Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo voted out and a majority of independents elected.
Koroi Hawkins reports from Honiara:
Although results for a handful of seats have yet to be released. The winners in 44 of Solomon Islands 50 constituencies have been officially declared. 33 of them are sitting MPs who have been reelected. But a glaring absence from among their number is ousted caretaker Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo whose Gizo Kolombangara seat was taken off him by a school teacher, Jimson Fiau Tanangada, who is understood to be Lilo's former campaign manager. The results have sparked mixed reactions among Solomon Islanders across the country and civil society groups and National leaders have been calling for calm. Forum Solomon Islands International is one such group, its chief executive, Benjamin Afuga, says losing candidates have a duty to control their supporters.
BEN AFUGA: As a concerned Citizen group we feel that we have a responsibility to remind the losing candidates especially to respect the rule of law. It is a very hard decision to accept for some losing candidates especially the former candidates. And yes that call was made for them to respect the rule of law and allow those that have been elected through the normal process to to lead.
Results so far also show that Voters in Solomon Islands have favoured independents over party candidates. This is in spite of the introduction this year, of new legislation, aimed at strengthening party politics in the country. One registered political party that is particularly disappointed by the results is the People Progress Party which failed to field any winning candidates. Its General Secretary and Constitutional Lawyer, Charles Ashley, says despite the election results, they have not given up on the new legislation .
CHARLES ASHLEY: We as a party and talking to other parties what we have sort of decided on is to develop this so that come 2018, we are hoping that our people will start voting along party lines.
Of the 44 winners who have been officially declared, 28 are Independents. And even the 16 MPs with party backing, represent only half of the 12 registered political parties in the country. One of the parties that has enjoyed some success is the People's Alliance Party, who have so far got two MPs through the polls. Its President and former Governor General of Solomon Islands, Sir Nathaniel Waena, says Members of the last parliament, who voted in favour of the new party legislation, are to blame for its ineffectiveness.
SIR NATHANIEL WAENA: The people who have actually participated in the enactment of the law itself, have decided to go to the polls as Independent Individuals. That poses the question of how serious are they as national leaders, who have enacted the law but opted out from it.
The Independent majority is a concern for the country as the new laws state that coalitions can only be formed by members of registered political parties. Already lobbying is intensifying here in the capital but it is still impossible to predict what kind of government is taking shape here and who will be the next Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.
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