14 Feb 2011

High level meeting in Solomon Islands to consider whether parliament should be called

4:02 pm on 14 February 2011

A meeting to decide whether the Solomon Islands parliament should be called to test the government's majority is due this afternoon.

The Speaker Sir Allen Kemakeza is meeting with Prime Minister Danny Philip and opposition leader Steve Abana following a ruling from the Governor General that it was not his place to intervene in the current political stalemate.

The opposition had filed a motion of no confidence and petitioned the Governor General to call parliament after a number of government MPs crossed the floor.

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickham reports

"The governor general has now said that the speaker has the power under certain sections of the constitution to call parliament if there was an issue of numbers and that he didn't have the power. So it's based on that legal advice and that statement from the Government House that the speaker has now called for this meeting to discuss with the two leaders as to how they will take this forward and to also look at the different scenarios, whether to call parliament or for the two sides of the house to sort this out amongst themselves."

Dorothy Wickham