9 Feb 2005

Ulufa'alu moves motion of no-confidence in Solomons government and then withdraws it

7:36 pm on 9 February 2005

A former prime minister of Solomon Islands, Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, has withdrawn a motion of no-confidence in the Kemakeza government only hours after tabling it.

A vote on the motion had been anticipated all week.

Mr Ulufa'alu addressed parliament for nearly an hour and a half and then withdrew the motion.

During his speech, Mr Ulufa'alu commented on the RIPEL strike in Yandina and said the Prime Minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, seemed to have polticised the action.

He also said it was members of government and not the opposition who opposed the Regional Assistance Mission.

Our correspondent in Honiara, Dorothy Wickham says Mr Ulufa'alu told parliament it was never his intention to topple the government.

"He said he wanted to move the motion to raise issues. He said Solomon Islanders must not misunderstand, he did not intend to topple the government because he said it was obvious he doesn't have the numbers. What he wanted to do was to use the opportunity to raise questions about Sir Allan Kemakeza's leadership."

Mr Ulufa'alu also used his time on the floor to encourage RAMSI to go after prominent people who had committed crimes.