Malaita non-executive find success in third attempt. MARA executives boycott motion
BY SAMIE WAIKORI
Malaita province’s Premier Daniel Suidani has been ousted by way of motion of no-confidence.
This motion is the non-executives’ third attempt to remove Mr Suidani.
Suidani and his executives reportedly boycotted yesterday’s motion, and the Speaker, Ronnie Butala, went on ahead with the meeting, resulting in a 17-votes to none decision.
Nominations for a new premier is open, and election of a new one is scheduled for this Friday.
Following the motion results, protestors who are sympathisers of Premier Suidani and his MARA government expressed their dismay, and were dispersed by the elite Police Response Team (PRT) who were deployed from Honiara.
The motion was tabled around 10.30am in the Malaita provincial chamber, the delay reportedly from waiting for members of the executive to attend.
The executives had attempted to delay the meeting purposely to wait for the outcome of any high court decision to the case filed by the premier a week ago asking court to interpret what had transpired three weeks ago in which the Speaker allowed the non-executives to defeat the Budget speech via voice vote.
The speaker addressed the assembly and allowed the motion to be moved by MPA for ward 3 (Buma), Martin Fini.
Speaker Butala then opened the one-sided floor for debate on the motion.
Three non-executive MPAs made their debate speech, and due to the absence of the premier to respond to the motion, the mover (Fini) asked to conclude the debate.
The speaker announced the motion to be put to a vote, which was supposed to be secret ballot paper under Malaita Provincial Assembly Standing Order (SO) 161.
However, due to the circumstances faced with the absence of the executives, the speaker suspended SO 161 and replaced it with SO 156 for a voice vote.
The speaker called for a voice vote and the 17 MPAs on the non-executive side voted ‘Aye’ in favour of the motion.
After the motion was passed the speaker announced the nomination for the post of premier, which opens 9.30 today and ends after 48 hours.
This is so that the non-executive could prepare ahead of election of the premier on Friday, where the new executive government of Malaita province will be made known.
The speaker also announced that while Malaita province is yet to have its new provincial government, the deputy premier will look after the premier’s post until a new government is formed.
Suidani who is being seen as a stout defender of democracy had manage to lead the country’s most populous province since coming to power in June 2019.
His defeat comes just five months before the life of the current Malaita provincial assembly ends.
Suidani stood against the immense pressure from the Solomon Islands national government and China, halting any aid from China and accepting US aid instead.