SIPRA-DAP Coalition confident to lead the next government, Lilo for Speaker’s post
TWO registered Political Parties are on the verge of merging for form the next government that will lead the country.
A reliable source close to the paper said last night the next government to lead the country is more likely to be led under the banner of the Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement (SIPRA) and Democratic Alliance Party (DAP).
The insider told this paper that three groups of Stave Abana (DAP), Manasseh Maelanga (Independent) and Bradley Tovosia (Independent) will likely to sign a coalition agreement with SIPRA.
Most of whom are independent members who make up the new camp at Mendana Hotel and have already claimed 30 members to form the new government.
However this coalition agreement with SIPRA and DAP comes on the condition that the Party president of SIPRA Mr Lilo must resign.
And as a condition for stepping down as president, Lilo will be the camp’s candidate for the Speaker of Parliament’s post.
“By the way things have unfolded in the camps, it is most likely the new government will be formed by the Mendana Hotel camp who have claimed 30 members already and are confident to maintain and increase the number in the coming days,” the source said.
The source further stressed that if Lilo is going to be the Speaker, the Prime Minister will have to be someone from Malaita.
Asked as to who the likely candidate would be, the source said the group’s candidate for the PM’s post will certainly be a member from Malaita and it will surprise the nation.
A local newspaper has earlier reported that elected member for East Malaita, Manasseh Maelanga has been tipped to lead the coalition after he teamed up with SIPRA along with other Independent members to increase its number.
However, another source said it is too early to predict a candidate lead the coalition as their primary focus is to form a government.
The source told the Solomon Star last night that their focus is to form a government before electing a leader to lead the coalition.
“Currently the door to choose a Prime Minister is still open.
“It is not true that we have identified a Prime Minister as reported in the media,” our close source said.
Another insider further stressed that from how things have been turning within the camps, it will become obvious by the weekend.
The Solomon Star is aware other camps at the Honiara Hotel, Heritage Park Hotel and the Pacific Casino Hotel have worked hard to lure members to form the next government through a coalition.
Reports from the Honiara Hotel camp revealed that their likely candidate would be the former PM Danny Phillip.
The Heritage Park Hotel camp of Dr Sikua and Mathew Wale is proposing to endorse another former PM Dr Sikua for the PM’s post whilst for the Pacific Casino camp who plays a low profile thus far, their position remains unclear.
Meanwhile, most of the Members of Parliament (MP) are yet to take up their oaths.
A close source said all the 50 elected MPs are expecting to take their oath anytime soon and the Governor General (GG) will make the announcement for the election of the Prime Minister either today or early next week.
According to the process, after the GG made the announcement elected MPs have four days to submit their nominations for the PM.
And at the first day of Parliament’s first sitting, the election of the Speaker will be made following two days for nominations.
Now, if it happens that the camp at Mendana Hotel truly has the number to form the government, its most likely they will carry on from what the National Coalition for Rural Advancement (NCRA) government left undone in the last government.
Majority of members in the camp at Mendana Hotel are all former MPs and most of them hold ministerial posts under Lilo’s NCRA government.
A cross check with the Registrar of the Political Parties Integrity Commission has revealed that they have already received a draft coalition agreement between DAP and SIPRA that his office had already looked at it and give it back to make any final amendments and submit their final draft.
In the meantime, United Democratic Party (UDP) led by Sir Thomas Chan is trying to consolidate its numbers with Bodo Dettke and Dr Derek Sikua’s camp to form a coalition.
Sir Thomas and deputy leader, Danny Philip decided not to talk media regarding the progress of their group.
However, Sir Thomas told a dinner at Honiara Hotel last night attended by members of the group that it was important to work together for the betterment of the nation which is blessed with natural resources.
With lobbying currently intensifying, millions of dollars are expected to be flying around into member’s hands in exchange for ministerial posts and switching camps close to the PM’s election.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA & EDDIE OSIFELO