29 Nov 2007

Solomons govt caucus whip accuses opposition of keeping MPs prisoner

8:17 pm on 29 November 2007

The chairman of the Solomon Islands government caucus says more MPs who defected to the opposition recently are starting to realise they can switch sides again.

Nelson Ne'e has been co-ordinating efforts to bring MPs back across from the opposition following a mass resignation of at least ten MPs from Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare's government earlier this month.

His comments follow the defection of two opposition MPs to the government to take up Ministerial portfolios this week.

Mr Ne'e has accused the opposition of locking its MPs away at the Honiara Hotel to shelter them from government lobbying.

"You can't just lock them up. And that is what is happening at the moment, they're locking them up as prisoners, and it's not on with us. Our government is open, it's the government of the nation. If politicians want to come across, you're welcome... come across and join the government, so you can serve your people, your constituency as a whole."

Nelson Ne'e says the latest defections have lifted the government's numbers to 25 of the 48 held seats.