CLEAR indications of a national security implication are brewing if the Premier of Malaita province, Daniel Suidani loses the planned motion of no confidence tomorrow.
This was evident following the rousing supports by thousands of people gifted to him upon his arrival in Auki on 11th October 2021 after being away for almost five months overseas.
Premier Suidani travelled to Australia around [in?] May to seek medical treatment on his brain and [was] later transferred to Taiwan for further treatment.
He returned home healthy after doctors in Taiwan treated his brain with medication.
Upon arrival, the non-Executive members filed a motion of no confidence against Premier Suidani despite knowing the strong support for his leadership from his executive.
There are 33 members in the Malaita Provincial Government and the non-executive needs 17 members to allow the motion to go through in toppling Premier Suidani.
The Premier has attracted much support from Malaitans following his government’s stand for democracy against the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) support for his opposition to diplomatic recognition of PRC over Taiwan, despite facing strong resistance from the Central Government.
The fall out between Malaita and Central Government started during the diplomatic switch from Taiwan to PRC in 2019.
A lawyer, former political adviser and critic of the National Government, Andrew Muaki told Island Sun through Facebook from Brisbane, Australia claimed the situation in Auki is tense at the moment.
Muaki said this tension will either come to an end peacefully during the Motion of No Confidence or manifest into a law and order issue.
He said the possibility of the latter event to occur cannot be ruled out given the mass support premier Suidani has amongst his fellow people.
Suidani’s support comes from most Malaitans in the province and Honiara who believe in his stand against PRC and National Government.
Furthermore, Muaki said the reaction of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and the government in Honiara will determine how far this tension will go or what direction the tension will take.
“This leads me to the national security issue.
“The people of Malaita Province may feel they have no option but to seek greater autonomy,” he said.
Muaki said the tension between Auki and Honiara may give Auki the platform to do so.
“As I said the reactions from Honiara will determine how far this will go.
“Again, the possibility of any law and order situation in Auki cannot be ruled out,” he said.
“Just to be clear I don’t think there will be loss of properties.
“It will be more of groups against each other along political affiliations to the various central figures both at the provincial and national level,” he said.
A member of Malaita Province Youth Council, Philip Subu told Island Sun from Auki that there is high risk of a riot.
Subu said it is not a new thing because the Ma’asina Ruru movement has done it in the past and part of Malaita character now.
According to scholars, Maasina Ruru is a movement for self-government and self-determination in the British Solomon Islands during and after World War 11, 1945-1950, credited with creating the movement towards independence for the Solomon Islands.
He said most Malaitans want Premier Suidani because it is connected to their beliefs and values on how he lead and stand for democracy against PRC.
In addition, Subu said the people have seen the allegations made against Suidani in the motion of no confidence as excuses.
MPA forward 11, Elijah Asilaua of the Non-Executive has filed the motion of no confidence notice against the Premier which contains 11 allegations.
Asilaua accused Premier Suidani of making decisions without consulting the executive.
He also stated Premier Suidani’s style of leadership is dividing the people of Malaita and this is affecting the function of the executive and its ability to deliver much needed services to the people.
Asilau also accused Premier Suidani of entertaining the Malaita for Democracy (M4D), a pressure group operating within Auki.
He said they believed the National Government and Peoples Republic of China are the main culprits are to blame?
Subu said during the motion it will attract many people from the nearby villages to congregate in Auki township and could be a risk for disaster.
[this is better as a direct quote so we know what words he actually uses and is accountable for them – disaster is a strong word but not specific]
A woman leader who wished to remain unknown because of the sensitivity of the issue said she do not want to see any tension or riot if the Premier loses the motion.
She said all the Members of Provincial Assembly should address the issue on a round table to avoid cause any problem.
“I think the leaders should go back to their people and talk to them.
“The leaders should listen to their people to avoid further problem during the motion of no confidence,” she said.
Malaita Province Assistant Commissioner (AC) Provincial Joseph Manelugu said the police has started preparing for the situation in a situation the Premier loses the motion of no confidence.
Manelugu said they are doing forward planning to prepare for the situation.
“We are currently doing awareness with people in Auki, however majority of people comes from the villages.
“Compare to the number of people that welcome the Premier, we will be outnumbered,” he said.
Manelugu said if anything goes wrong on the day, they are putting operation plan to request reinforcements from Honiara.
As part of the build up towards the vote, supporters and students have displayed banners on Social media calling for to postpone the motion of no confidence.
Some students of schools around Auki help [?] a banner saying ‘Exam first, postpone motion’.
Island Sun contacted the Asilau but he is unwilling to get [give?] an interview.
Premier Suidani told Island Sun [when?] his team is planning to boycott the motion of no confidence because the Speaker did not discuss the date with him.
“I am currently filing a motion against the Speaker because his office is not neutral.
“The Speaker should work with the Provincial Government and not [be] influence by the National Government,” he said.
Suidani said his government want to debate the motion during the Assembly meeting on 8th November that will coincide with the budget meeting.
However, Speaker Ronnie Butala said the legality of the motion of no confidence can only be explained by the Attorney General.
“I cannot comment on the legality of the issue,” he said.
Butala said the focus now should be on the motion of no confidence this week.
He said normally during the meeting, the first agenda is the motion of no confidence.
“If the motion does not pass, then the meeting will take few days to rest and come back to pass the Supplementary budget.
“If the motion goes through, then nomination for the Premier is open for two days and allows the new government to form as well,” he said.