22 Jul 2005

Ex-Solomons PM warns against political parties splintering ahead of poll

6:06 pm on 22 July 2005

A former Solomon Islands prime minister is urging political parties not to splinter into smaller groups ahead of next year's general election.

Bartholomew Ulufa'alu says the government should be able to rule without the threat in the numbers of people in political parties shifting all the time.

Mr Ulufa'alu says if history is to be any guidance to Solomon Islands, MPs must move to limit the number of political parties to five.

"Solomon Islanders must groom themselves to regard national interests as more important than personal interests. And in order to do so, we've got to have frameworks in place that ensure the national interests prevail above personal interest."

Mr Ulufa'alu resigned at gunpoint during unrest five years ago, and he says MPs have learnt that instability has been the norm over the last 30 years.