27 Apr 2005

Solomons MP affirms push for independence for western province

1:13 pm on 27 April 2005

An MP from the Solomon Island's Western Province says his region must push for independence from the rest of the country.

South New Georgia MP Francis Zama says he's not convinced the proposed Federal State system of government will allow the region to prosper and deliver what people need.

He says there's strong support in the province for the idea of total secession.

"The idea to break away from the Solomon Islands is still very strong in the minds of people in the western province. I think it would only be responsible of me as a national leader of the western province to try and rekindle the idea so that it's not left in the back seat."

Mr Zama says the province has not benefitted at all from the millions of dollars derived by the country through the extraction of its natural resources.

Mr Zama, the former Finance Minister, has been charged with official corruption in relation to the granting of exemption for goods tax in March last year.