3 Feb 2005

Solomons leader sacks two Ministers, brings in two Opposition MPs ahead of confidence vote

7:48 pm on 3 February 2005

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza has sacked two ministers, replacing them with Opposition MPs.

The finance minister Francis Zama has been replaced by Peter Boyers after the Prime Minister condemned his recent actions.

That was a reference to Mr Zama's criticism of the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, in Parliamebnt this week.

The Communications Minister, Patteson Oti, who was enticed two years ago from the Opposition, has been replaced by Simeon Bauro.

Mr Boyers portfolio of National Planning and Reform has been given to Fred Fono.

This cabinet reshuffle comes days ahead of a motion of no condifence in the Prime Minister filed by former Prime Minister, Bartholomew Ulufa'alu.

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says its not clear why Mr Ulufa'alu's is moving the motion.

"Its a very difficult situation to read. Mr Ulufa'alu has been out of the country for a while having medical treatment in Australia, and I don't now where he fits into the picture at the moment and how many MPs support him and what his reasons are for a motion of no confidence.It is unclear whether it is based on this criticism of RAMSI or whether he just does not agree with Kemakeza's leadership."

Dorothy Wickham