Prime Minister Sogavare retains numerical strength
The Prime Minister earlier brushed aside calls for him to stand down but optimistically asserted that politics in Solomon Islands is unique for last minute cross-over and today his wisdom stands with the return of those who have defected.
On Monday the three backbenchers of the government, Martin Sopage, Martin Maga and Trevor Olavae who had earlier renounced their allegiance to the government rejoined the grand coalition and were subsequently sworn in by the Governor-General at Government House as new Ministers for the ministries of Works and Infrastructure; Justice and legal Affairs; and Planning and Aid Coordination respectively.
In a further turn of events three more of the government’s ministers who have defected to the opposition have revoked their letters of resignations and rejoined the government on Tuesday.
Sam Iduri, Patrick Vahoe and Stanley Sofu who earlier signed the MOU with the Opposition withdrew their signatures and revoked their resignations rendering support to the government.
The political hiccup in recent days that threatened the government following the mass defection of ministers and backbenchers sent shock waves around the country prompting calls for calm and understanding.
But in the face of imminent collapse of government the Prime Minister remained bold and staunchly maintained that those who had defected in support of his two sacked ministers, Gordon Darcy Lilo and Steve Abana, might not have gotten the full explanation of the reasons and truth behind their sacking.
The Prime Minister cited among other things negligence of policy directives, reports of corruption and mismanagement for the sacking of Mr Lilo from the Ministry of Finance, and that his termination of Steve Abana from the Ministry of Planning and Aid Coordination was in response to his orchestration of moves to oust him as Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, despite the ongoing “numbers game” the government looked set to regaining its numerical strength and the powerbase to continue governing the country and to implement its well strategic policies on rural development and the enhancement of community participation in the rural areas.
The government has placed considerable and strenuous efforts to uphold the sovereignty of this nation and the pursuance of strategic and calculated measures to ensure development in rural areas, so much so that it would not allow political gimmicks to sidetrack the progress so far attained in such a short span of time since taking office in 2006.
The Prime Minister explained that his non-attendance at the recent Forum Leaders Summit, for which he was summarily condemned by his very own ministers who have defected to the opposition, was an action he had only taken in accordance to a Cabinet decision.
The Cabinet resolved to send a protest stance as a demonstration against the forum’s failure to address the key terms of reference of the review of the Facilitation of the International Assistance Act based on the six-point plan of the Solomon Islands Government.
In another recent development further consolidating the government’s hold of power, the three Makira MPs, Bernard Giro – Central Makira, David Sitai – East Makira and Japheth Waipora – West Makira, have unanimously reaffirmed their support for the government and totally denied rumors that they have aligned themselves with the opposition camp in this current political impasse as claimed by the opposition.
Prime Minister Sogavare assured the nation that he is still in total control and the government under his leadership would continue to prioritize the affairs of the people.
The government now as of today has 27 confirmed members thus regaining the majority legally necessary to remain in power with the possibility of increasing its number by the end of the week.