Two former PMs contesting the by-elections
By ANDREW FANASIA
TWO former Solomon Islands Prime Ministers are vying for a seat in parliament come next month’s by-election.
Gordon Darcy Lilo who is contesting the Central Honiara Constituency seat and Dr Derek Sikua for North East Guadalcanal seat are not new to local politics in Solomon Islands.
Both leaders have wealth of experiences under their belts and are gurus in Solomon Islands politics in their own rights.
Lilo was elected to the National Parliament in 2001, and served as Minister for Finance in four successive governments.
He was then elected Prime Minister on 16 November 2011, replacing his cousin Danny Philip.
This paper understands that Lilo at that time was blamed to have orchestrated the down fall of the Danny Philip government then.
Lilo also holds a B.A. degree in economics and a postgraduate diploma from the University of Papua New Guinea.
Prime Minister Solomon Mamaloni appointed Lilo to Permanent Secretary Positions in the Ministries of Finance and Environment.
He later earned a Masters degree in economics from the Australian National University.
Meanwhile Sikua was elected as Prime Minister on 20 December 2007 after the current PM Manasseh Sogavare was defeated in a motion of no-confidence.
Following the August 2010 general election, he lost power and joined the Opposition. On 29 March 2011, he was elected as Leader of the Opposition.
Dr Sikua holds a PhD in Education Decentralisation at the University of Waikato in New Zealand (1998-2003).
According to local political observers, these two leaders will not take this by election lightly.
One political observer said that if both former PMs won the by election next month, the current government has something to think about.
“We all know that Solomon Islands politics is unpredictable and anything can happen especially when the likes of Lilo come into the scene,” one observer told this paper.