16 Feb 2011

Solomons opposition says PM's weakness defers house sitting

4:11 pm on 16 February 2011

The Solomon Islands opposition says the Prime Minister's shifting position on a date for the resumption of parliament is a sign of his weakness within the ruling coalition.

The Speaker Sir Allen Kemakeza has confirmed that he announced that parliament will resume on March 28th after receiving a letter from the Prime Minister Danny Philip.

Sir Allen says this differed from a date of March 14th which had been agreed to when he met Mr Philip and the opposition leader Steve Abana earlier this week.

The deputy opposition leader Matthew Wale says he believes the change of date came about after the Prime Minister met with the governing caucus.

"We're very disappointed in the Prime Minister for not keeping his word. He's obviously not a gentleman that you can do business with. I think it reflects his own relative weakness within this government, that he has himself agreed to something and he was powerless to stick to that agreement."

Matthew Wale says the opposition is petitioning the governor general to bring forward the date for parliament to meet to avert a constitutional crisis that could occur if the government is defeated or can not pass its budget.