26 Jul 2010

Solomons' leader to by-pass Forum summit and focus on election

1:46 pm on 26 July 2010

The Solomon Islands government has confirmed that caretaker Prime Minister Derek Sikua will not be attending next week's Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit in Vanuatu.

Dr Sikua is staying at home to concentrate on the Solomon Islands general election on August the 4th.

In his place, Dr Sikua is sending a special envoy, Paul Tovua, to attend the Forum for the Solomons.

Paul Tovua is currently the permanent secretary responsible for the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands within the Prime Minister's Office.

Meanwhile, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the current chair of the body, is the only other national leader not expected to attend the summit.

Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says a decision is yet to be made on who will attend the summit in Ms Gillard's place.