By DELI OSO
THE caretaker government candidate for the post of Prime Minister has expressed confidence about winning the election for the country’s top political post today.
The Member of Parliament for Small Malaita Rick Hou who once served in New York, United States of America, as a Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the World Bank is one of the two candidates contesting at today’s election for Prime Minister.
“I’m very confident. Actually I’m 101 percent confident,” the Member of Parliament for Small Malaita said when asked at a press confidence yesterday about his level of confidence about a victorious outcome for him from today’s election of a new Prime Minister.
When asked why there were only 28 Members of Parliament present in the Cabinet chamber yesterday for a photo session organized for the local media, Mr Hou said two MPs could not make it for the event for good reasons.
Mr Hou said the MP of Parliament for West New Georgia/Vonavona Silas Tausinga was in his constituency the two previous days and was scheduled to arrive back in Honiara after lunchtime yesterday, whilst the MP for East Kwaio Stanley Festus Sofu was in hospital after being admitted the previous night.
“Otherwise all of us are here. Our number remains at 30 and it is intact. Tomorrow (today), you will see that it will not be less than 30 MPs that vote for me.
The Small Malaita MP appealed to leaders of Churches, communities and social groups especially in Honiara to remain calm and allow the 50 MPs to do what is required of them under the constitution.
“Don’t try to influence the voters (politicians). My appeal to everyone in the country, especially in Honiara is to allow all MPs to vote with the conscience. Voting with conscience is the true vote and not a vote that you are forced to take. Tomorrow (today) you will see the true vote,” the Islands Business Magazine "Man of the Year" for the Pacific region in 2003 said.
The caretaker Minister of Communication and Aviation Peter Shanel Agovaka reinforced at the press conference Mr Hou’s remarks about the intactness of the caretaker government camp, saying:
“Our group remains intact despite what the media stated.”
Mr Agovaka said the former Sogavare-led Democratic Coalition for Change Government experienced alot of political instability when it was in power.
He said the East Choiseul MP as the then Prime Minister had to spend a lot of time managing his Cabinet ministers rather than the ministers managing their ministries.
Mr Agovaka said the former Opposition group, which is now part of the caretaker government coalition, brought with it a lot of integrity and ‘background in experience and knowledge.’
“The Cabinet lineup of the new government (that we bid to form) will be a good lineup and we hope that in the next 10 to 12 months, though we will not come up with anything major, we will continue the programmes that are already there.”
The caretaker Minister of Communication and Aviation said the new coalition is now working on a combined policy document that will include the inputs from its new partners- Democratic Alliance Party and People’s First Party. The other two partners are Kadere Party and People’s Alliance Party.
The other candidate for Prime Minister is the MP for Central Honiara Moffat Fugui. Mr Fugui is the candidate of the new Opposition and Independent Group coalition camping at the Honiara Hotel.
Caretaker government candidate optimistic about winning PM’s election
By DELI OSO