1 Aug 2007

Solomons leader says he is not worried by latest no confidence motion

7:17 pm on 1 August 2007

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare claims he has the numbers to survive a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

Mr Sogavare says he has a signed list of MPs who support his government, giving him well over the 25 seats needed to retain power in the 50-member parliament.

The opposition is scheduled to proceed with the no-confidence motion after parliament resumes next Tuesday.

Mr Sogavare has told the Solomon Star newspaper that the motion is hot air, that his government is unconcerned by it.

But the Opposition Leader Fred Fono says he too has a list of supporting MPs, including some who appeared on Mr Sogavare's list.

Mr Sogavare appeared set to lose some of his five Guadalcanal MPs last week after leaders from the province threatened to withdraw support for his government unless it reversed a plan to rearm Solomons police.

But on Friday, the Police Commissioner, Jahir Khan, announced the plan was on hold until next year - a move the Opposition viewed as a strategy to keep the Guadalcanal MPs on side.

It will be the second vote of no confidence in the Sogavare administration since it came to power 15 months ago.