MANASSEH Sogavare plans to take a ‘diplomatic approach’ towards development partners including Australia, if he wins the Prime Minister’s race next Tuesday.
The two-time Prime Minister is contesting the PM’s seat after he was nominated by the Honiara Hotel’s group on Tuesday night.
Sogavare came into the international spotlight after he accused the then Australia government of interfering into Solomon Islands internal affairs in 2006.
This was in relation to the arrest of Julian Moti, who was tipped to be his then Attorney General.
This led to him expelling former Australian High Commissioner Patrick Cole as persona non grata, which had created a strain relationship with Australia government.
Sogavare also claimed the Regional Assistance Mission force that intervened to restore law and order in 2003 was seen as ‘neo-colonialism’ foreign policy into the Pacific.
However, he told Solomon Star last night that it’s no longer an issue now.
“We have deal with the issues properly at that time.
“We have a very cordial relationship with Australia,” he said.
Sogavare said if his government comes into power, they will continue to maintain their good working relationship with all development partners.
“We will deal with it appropriately and when they come up, it’s the obligation of government,” he said.
The Honiara Hotel group has claimed 26 of the 50 newly elected MPs claim allegiance to the group.
The new group which is yet to be named is made up of MPs from three political parties, the Kadere Party, the United Democratic Party and break away MPs from the People’s Alliance Party which is aligned to the opposing political block.
The rival Solomon Islands People’s Democratic Coalition is yet to name a candidate for Prime Minister, who is to be elected on Tuesday in a secret ballot in parliament.
By EDDIE OSIFELO