DAP and Kadere parties meet for the first time in four months
By Alfred Sasako
THE Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) and Kadere Party – the two political parties that are the pillars of the Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition Change Government (SIDCCG) met for the first time in four months yesterday.
No details of the meeting were immediately available.
It is also not clear whether the minor Coalition partner, the People’s Alliance Party (PAP) joined the meeting, which were held at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
There were speculations in Honiara that the meeting was the reason for adjourning the 2018 National Budget session which began yesterday. Parliament was adjourned for tomorrow (Wednesday), just a day before the nation plunges into a constitutional crisis as Friday is a public holiday due to being a Good Friday.
No public spending is allowed from April 1, which falls on Sunday, if the budget is not approved by Parliament before then.
Many believe yesterday’s meeting was to resolve a number of key issues, which have been troubling the coalition partners since forming the government last December.
One of the key issues is an on-going undercurrents relating to reported moves to oust Prime Minister Ricky Houenipwela because of his hard line stance on a number of issues including the reduction of the number of political appointments.
The other issue which has been simmering over the last few months is to do with the payment of $50 million for the Hell’s Point waste land in east Honiara. Prime Minister Houenipwela is steadfastly opposed to the payment, while his Deputy and Minister for Finance and Treasury, former prime minister Manasseh Sogavare is reportedly supportive of the payment.
The fact that DAP has less number in the Coalition is a factor which has tied Hon Houenipwela’s hand from taking actions, fearing the collapse of his government.
Observers said being indecisive on many issues the Prime Minister has played into the hands of those who are pushing to remove him. That has also angered those closest to him.
The SIDCCG coalition meeting is expected to continue today in the hope that Parliament would pass the $2 billion National Budget the next day.