28 Mar 2011

Solomons' opposition in apparent disarray as leadership battle struggles on

6:45 pm on 28 March 2011

The Solomon Islands opposition appears to be in disarray, with a spokesperson saying an election to choose its new leader has been postponed indefinitely.

Last week the opposition office said its leader Steve Abana had stood down.

But meetings to elect a new leader were deferred for several days and Mr Abana appeared in parliament when it resumed today.

Now an office spokeperson Deli Oso says the election has been indefinitely postponed, but deputy opposition leader Matthew Wale is acting as leader.

Neither Mr Wale or Mr Abana have responded to requests for comment.

But our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says the opposition does not appear to be able to get the numbers together to vote on the leadership.

"Basically I think the opposition is not really united in the fact that they want a new leader, that's becoming very obvious. The opposition group has been together for quite a while with Abana as its leader, but I think there's a certain grouping of new MPs in opposition who might want a new leader."

Dorothy Wickham says reports MP Douglas Ete had switched back to the government appear to be untrue, but MP Bodo Dettke has crossed back to the government's ranks.