Ousted MPs’ wives join race  - Solomon Star News

Ousted MPs’ wives join race 

09 October 2020
Spouses of former MPs Moffat Fugui (L) and James Vokia (R) are running in the November By-election.

THE spouses of two ousted Members of Parliament (MP) for Central Honiara and North East Guadalcanal constituencies are in the political race for a seat in next month’s by-election.

Central Honiara MP John Moffat Fugui and North East Guadalcanal Jamie Vokia MP lost their respective seats following petition cases against them.

The two wives; Mrs. Jennifer Fugui and Mrs. Ethel Lency will both contest the by-election as independent candidates.

A total of 14 candidates have registered and are contesting the two vacant seats.

History has shown that spouses of ousted MPs stand a higher chance of winning by-elections.

This paper understands that the first woman to win in a by-election was Vika Lusibaea after her husband was outed in 2012. 

She was also the second national woman MP since Independence to be elected to Solomon Islands national parliament.  

Second is the current MP for Gizo/Kolobanga Lanelle Tanaganda who was elected in 2017 in a by-election after her husband and former MP for Gizo/Kolobanga Jimson Tanaganda was ousted following a petition case.

Mrs. Tanaganda went on to win the 2019 election to regain the Gizo/Kolobangara seat.

The most recent is Mrs. Lilly Maefai of East Makira constituency who won the by-election early this year after her husband, the former MP for East Makira passed on few months after the 2019 National General Election.

Interestingly, the two former Prime Ministers Derek Sikua and Gordon Darcy Lilo are also amongst the 14 candidates.

Sikua is vying to retain his seat after winning his petition case against the former MP Mr. Vokia whilst Lilo was beaten twice by Mrs. Tanaganda in the Gizo/Kolobanga constituency has been nominated to contest the Central Honiara seat.

Lilo will battle against the second runner up of last years’ election Alfred Efona who was also the mover of the petition that unseated Mr. Fugui.

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) Chief Electoral Officer Jane Waetara said all registered candidates for both constituencies by-election have until 4 pm today to withdraw their candidacies.

Newsroom, Honiara