26 Apr 2006

Solomons opposition favours Sogavare for PM's election

5:11 pm on 26 April 2006

The Solomon Islands opposition says six members of the government have swapped sides because they recognized the need for change in the country.

The move, ahead of a vote of no confidence in the government, prompted the resignation of Snyder Rini as prime minister eight days after his election had led to rioting in Honiara.

The parliament is expected to select a new prime minister next week with the former commerce minister, Manasseh Sogavare, favoured to reassume the role.

An opposition spokesman, Gordon Darcy Lilo, says the six MPs changed sides because they were thinking about the nation.

He says the prime ministership was not offered as an inducement to Mr Sogavare but he will be the opposition nominee.

"We respect his choice to come over and that's why we decided to give it to him. But remember that he was initially with us. He was initially with this group, until there were certain things being carried out by the government side, enticing him and others to join them."