25 Apr 2006

Solomons opposition MP refused bail as no confidence vote looms

4:33 pm on 25 April 2006

An opposition MP, Charles Dausabea, has been refused bail on charges of inciting last week's riots and is to remain in custody until May the 9th.

He faces three charges of inciting people to riot, intimidating a hotel security guard, and threatening to destroy a hotel.

This will prevent Mr Dausabea to join parliament for a no-confidence vote planned for tomorrow.

Another opposition politician, Bartholomew Ulufaalu, says the police action amounts to interfering with attempts by parliament to resolve the crisis.

"It's the only way left to create a sense of hope to the people by seeking a constitutional resolution of the issue and the police, especially RAMSI, continuing to arrest members of the opposition for allegations that are yet to be proven and therefore detaining them from not attending parliament meetings is in itself interfering with the right of parliament to resolve the issues."

Bartholomew Ulufaalu

A former prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, had earlier been elected deputy speaker of parliament.

Opposition MPs staged a walk-out in protest following the vote.

The European Union has expressed its concern at the unrest in Solomon Islands and welcomed the assistance given by its neighbours.

Austria, which holds the rotating EU presidency, says the attacks on law enforcement personnel and the unrest risk undoing the recent progress for which the Solomon Islands people have worked hard.

It has reaffirmed its support for the work of RAMSI to help build sustainable peace, foster economic growth and promote good governance in the country.