Opposition downs gov’t 27-23 votes, parliament to resume a day after new PM is chosen
By Alfred Sasako
THE DCC Government was yesterday voted out of office in a nine-hour debate which degenerated into accusations and counter-accusations of wrongdoing.
When the vote on voices was taken shortly after 6:30 yesterday evening, the Opposition came away with 27 as against 23 for the government.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday adjourned Parliament after the vote was taken. He will continue in office until a new Prime Minister is elected.
The motion of no confidence was moved by one time prime minister and MP for North East Guadalcanal, Hon Dr Derek Sikua, who said Parliament no longer had confidence in Prime Minister Sogavare to continue running the country.
Dr Sikua rejected suggestions he moved the motion because he was interested in the job. He said it was a consensus decision by the group that he moved the motion.
In response, Sogavare among other things said those who brought the motion against him had done so with “sinister motive”.
He responded to almost every accusation levelled against him, including personal attacks on former political appointees blaming them for misleading him about the credibility of foreign companies such as Skyline.
Sogavare also accused his former Finance Minister, Snyder Rini, of mismanaging the nation’s economy.
If Sogavare thought he was going to convince last minute defections from the Opposition, he miscalculated.
When the vote was taken on voices, the government lost the vote by 27-23 in favour of the Opposition.
The outcome of yesterday’s no confidence vote was consistently predicted by Island Sun over the past two weeks to the dismay of some in the Prime Minister’s Office.
They accused this newspaper of making up stories about government numbers, telling the nation last week that the DCC government remained intact.
The outcome of the vote yesterday said otherwise.
The Opposition is expected to inform Government House shortly after it has identified its candidate for the post of Prime Minister.
The Governor General will then call for Parliament to be reconvened for the purpose of electing a new Prime Minister.