‘To lead is to serve’ – Governor-General to call PM election in Solomon Islands

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Solomon Islands Coat of Arms
Solomon Islands Coat of Arms . . . "To lead is to serve". Image: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins

RNZ Pacific

The race to form the next government of Solomon Islands could be a tight one, with no single party emerging from the election with enough seats to govern.

Caretaker prime minister Manasseh Sogavare’s Our Party did the best, securing 15 out of the 50 seats in the House.

The former opposition leader Matthew Wale’s Democratic Party is first runner-up with 11 MPs, which is also equal to the number of independent MPs which have been elected.

As for the rest of the field, the United Party secured six seats, the People’s First Party won three, and the remaining four minor parties won a seat each.

So what happens now?
The Governor-General of Solomon Islands, Sir David Vunagi, will only call a meeting to elect the country’s prime minister once official results have been gazetted and Parliament informs him that all elected members have returned from the provinces to the capital Honiara.

This was confirmed by the Governor-General’s private secretary, Rawcliffe Ziza, who also sought to refute some misinformation about the election of the prime minister — which said it would only be called once a party or a coalition of parties had secured the numbers to form government.

As political parties lobby to secure the numbers to rule, local media will be providing blow-by-blow accounts and social media feeds are awash with coalition predictions.

But the reality is things will remain fluid right up until and including when the elected members meet in parliament to cast secret ballots to elect the country’s prime minister.

There are also rumours of MPs defecting from or joining different groupings.

But the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties has confirmed to RNZ Pacific it has not received applications of either kind, and so as of Friday, party numbers remain true to the final election results below.

Solomon Islands final election results by party:

  • Our Party — 15 MPs
  • Solomon Islands Democratic Party — 11
  • Independents — 11
  • Solomon Islands United Party — 6
  • Solomon Islands People’s First Party — 3
  • Umi For Change Party — 1
  • Kadere Party — 1
  • Democratic Alliance Party — 1
  • Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement — 1

According to Government House, most of the newly elected members of Parliament are already in the capital.

But the Governor-General will wait until next week to consider a date for the election of the prime minister, to allow time for members from more remote constituencies to make their way back to Honiara and for the official election results to be gazetted.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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