Dear Editor – In the evening of Tuesday 10th of August 2010 One News TV broadcasted an unresearched piece of story that the Independent Democratic Party (IDP) is formed after the general elections in August 2010.
Someone also said in an interview over the SIBC that the IDP is a new party. In Solomon Islands, One News is very new to local politicking and so is the person who stated the same.
The above misinformation obviously needs to be corrected and therefore the IDP Secretariat is obliged to respond to having the local and international media organisations peruse the following brief history of the IDP:
IDP BRIEF HISTORY:
The Independent Democratic Party (IDP) founded its root in the grouping of previous Parliamentarians who were not members of any of the few political parties that contested the national election since 1972.
These non-party MPs were recognised as a Group of Independent Members of Parliament.
In 1997 the group was allocated a Constitutional Office by the late Ulufa'alu-led government.
Before he was knighted by the head of the Commonwealth, Hon. Thomas Ko Chan, MP for West Guadalcanal Constituency at that time, was appointed Leader of the Independent Group in Parliament.
This group contested in the 2001 general election as the Association of Independent Members of Parliament (AIMP).
In 2004 AIMP underwent another name change when it was registered with its own constitution and policies as the Independent Democratic Party (IDP).
Some of its founding MPs were, Sir Tomy Chan, Snyder Rini, the late Edward Huniehu, William Haomae, Allan Paul, David Sitai, the late David Vouza, and a multitude of Party supporters.
IDP has helped to form government three times: 2001, 2006, and in 2008. In 2001, it coalesced with the People’s Alliance Party (PAP).
This was immediately after the civil unrest.
Times were difficult. But under Kemakeza’s leadership, the government managed to complete a full term under the auspices of the Independent Democratic Party (IDP).
Then, in 2006, Hon. Snyder Rini won the election for the Prime Ministership. But there was collusion by certain groups in society to whip up opposition against the Rini-Kemakeza coalition.
Based on unfounded rumours and political machination, groups such as the “people power,” “winds of change,” and “Solomon Island Transparency” with assistance from certain national politicians roused popular angst.
As a result, crowds ran amok and Honiara was burned down. This is popularly known as the April 18 burning of Honiara.
Under pressure, and taking precaution not to exacerbate further trouble, Hon. Rini resigned. Manasseh Sogavare – a populist and controversial MP was elected PM.
However, his tenure was short lived. In late 2007, a vote of no-confidence organised by the Fono-led opposition with the assistance of certain MPs who had defected from the then Sogavare government managed to oust Sogavare from power.
The Sikua government then took over leadership in November 2007. This Sikua administration stayed on until the end of the parliamentary term (April 2010).
During the political hard times when the ethnic tension on Guadalcanal was at its peak, a coup took place in 2000 which instated Mr Sogavare as prime minister and in 2001 a national general election took place and the Kemakeza led Government for Peace, Reconciliation and Unity was installed.
During these years the IDP had played a major role in the restoration of peace to Solomon Islands by bring RAMSI into the country.
The IDP was also an active participant in the talks resulted in the convening of the Townsville Peace Agreement.
In the formation of the previous three governments since 2001, a majority of the MPs were members of the IDP.
With this brief history, the IDP is not new and it has its own way of scoring points when contesting in national general elections.
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