FORMER Member of Parliament (MP) for East Honiara, Douglas Ete says leaders have failed to address the underlying problems of Solomon Islands in the last 20 years.
The problems include unemployment, increasing population, corruption and protection of extractive resources.
Ete echoed this when he declared his campaign opens for the upcoming elections on November 19 at Pacific Casino yesterday.
He said Solomon Islands has enjoyed a blossom economy as a result of oil palm, cannery and logging after it gained independence in 1978 from Great Britain.
However, he said 20 years down the line, corruption has riddled the country as result of weak leadership to pass laws to strengthen the economy.
He said this has led Solomon Islands down a path called ‘Black Market’ economy, where people sell betel nuts, cakes and other stuff on the side of road for survival.
“We need good leaders in the next parliament to pass laws to strengthen our economy.
“We cannot talk about industrialization, national development and globalization when we don’t have good roads and bridges, no energy to power the nation and lack of good investment to address unemployment,” he said.
“Most of us MPs have wasted time in the last four years to ask important questions of this country regarding resources and land rights.
“Therefore, it’s up to you voters to choose good leaders to go up and contribute to pass laws that will help our country and not to go and sit quite,” Ete said.
Ete, born 4 August 1964, studied at the University of the South Pacific and at Massey University (New Zealand), before he worked as Chief Executive Officer at the National Referral Hospital.
His career in national politics began when he was elected to Parliament as the member for East Honiara in the 4 August 2010 general election, standing for the Reformed Democratic Party.
He was then appointed Minister of Public Service in Prime Minister Danny Philip’s Cabinet.
A Cabinet reshuffle on 8 December 2010, after the sacking of two ministers, saw Ete promoted to Minister of Forestry.
Ete is recontesting the election as an independent candidate.
By EDDIE OSIFELO