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Govt builds numbers

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Members of the Opposition who joined the government yesterday, with the Prime Minister Danny Philip and Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga.
SIX Opposition members joined the Government yesterday.

They were former leader of Opposition and MP for Fataleka Steve Abana, former leader of the Official Independent Group in Parliament and MP for Temotu-Vatud Clay Forau Soalaoi.

The others are Ricky Houeniopwela (Small Malaita,) Andrew Hanaria Keniasia (East Are ‘Are,) Connelly Sandabatu (North-West Choiseul) and Peter Tom (West Kwaio).

A well placed source told the Solomon Star the five members resigned after Mr Abana relinquished his position.

“They wanted to show their dislike to the Opposition member who was behind Abana’s removal,” our source said.

“Their move is not to spoil the Government but they want to contribute to the development of this country.”

In a meeting with the six MPs at the Prime Minister’s office yesterday afternoon, the Prime Minister Danny Philip welcomed the six MPs.

He told them that as PM and head of the NCRA Government he had accepted all of them into the Government without any reservations.

“As national leaders we are all entitled to make our own decisions but the bottom line is the country,” he said.

The Solomon Star understands the PM is likely to replace some of his ministers in the Government with these Opposition members.

Also some of them are likely to be appointed on State Owned Enterprises boards.

It is unclear whether the latest move will affect the motion of no confidence submitted by the Opposition group.

Attempts to talk to the Opposition leader Dr Derek Sikua and his deputy Mathew Wale were unsuccessful yesterday.

By EDDIE OSIFELO