Political tug-of-war

‘Independent MPs holding the balance’

BY CAROL-ANNE SULEGA

WITH the large turnout of Independent Member of Parliament (MP) elects, this grouping holds the fine line of the current lobby and camping period  

Political numbers are currently evident in The Ownership, Unity and Responsibility (OUR) Party, yet the current lobbying period may have a twist of unexpected turnouts with the current large number of independent members.

Other parties on watch with a good amount of elected MP’s are Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP), Solomon Islands United Party (SIUP), Solomon Islands Peoples First Party (SIPFP), Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) Umi For Change (U4C) Party, Solomon Islands Kadere Party (SIKP) and the Solomon Islands Party For Rural Advancement Party (SIPRA).

There are currently eleven Independent Member of Parliament elects. Namely, Tozen Leokana – South Choiseul, Isikeli Vave Junior – Shortland Islands, Choylin Yim Douglas – Ngella, Paul Popora Bosawai – North Guadalcanal, Ben Maenu’u – Lau-Mbaelelea, Polycarp Paea – Malaita Outer Islands, Derek Franklyn Wasi – East Makira, John Tuhaika Junior – Rennell-Bellona, Trevor Hedley Magaha – Gao-Bugotu,Cathy Nori – Maringe-Kokota and Namson Tran – West Honiara.

With all results of the National General Election (NGE) released, fifteen Member of Parliament (MP) elects are of the OUR Party led by Parliamentary Wing Leader Manasseh Damukana Sogavare, is formally leading in numbers.

This is not final during the current lobby period the country is currently sitting through, as convincing, negotiations and vision alignment processes are carried through to secure – majority rules, before the Governor General facilitates the date of the Election of the Prime Minister.

Lobbying has always been part of the country’s political arena at this point as the country’s political party system is weak and governments have always been a coalition. Meaning, more than one political party forms the government of the day.

Lobbying and camping is basically carried out to garner numerical support that will eventually lead up to the Election of the Prime Minister.      

In terms of numerical security at this time, it is bound to change unexpectedly over the coming weeks with other political parties that may also build up numerical strength either by garnering the Independent elected MP’s or if existing elected MP’s who are already affiliated and registered under a Political Party formally tender their party resignation with the Political Parties Commission.

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