10 Apr 2006

Solomon Islands MPs to elect Prime Minister after Easter

8:13 pm on 10 April 2006

The election of the Solomon Islands prime minister will take place on the 18th April, after the Easter break.

Linda Skates reports from Honiara.

"The caretaker prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, has arrived back in Honiara from Savo, and other MPs are also coming back to town as negotiations continue in attempts to form a government. One source says the previous coalition government made a commitment prior to the election to again join forces in order to retain power. The coalition comprised Sir Allan's People's Alliance party, the Lafari party, and the Association of Independent Members of Parliament, or AIMP. The AIMP is claiming it has 18 MPs on its team even though only 12 identified themselves as such on election papers. The president of the AIMP, Sir Tommy Chan, took out a full page ad in the Solomon Star with all the 18 names listed, including some MPs who belong to other parties. Other blocks are also believed to be talking to newly elected independents to lock down MPs prior to the Easter break and the election of the prime minister.