SILAS Tausinga, Bradley Tovosia, Sam Iduri, and Nestor Ghiro are the four MPs who switched their allegiance for Manasseh Sogavare in Tuesday’s election, the Solomon Star can reveal.
The four arrived in parliament with the Solomon Islands People’s Democratic Coalition (SIPDC), who fielded in Jeremiah Manele as their candidate. Mr Manele had the support of 23 MPs prior to the polls.
But during the secret ballot conducted in parliament, the four decided to cast their ballots for Manasseh Sogavare instead, bringing the final votes to 31-19 and giving Mr Sogavare the top job.
SIPDC insiders yesterday confirmed Mr Tausinga, Mr Tovosia, Mr Iduri, and Mr Ghiro switched their allegiance during the voting process.
“It was known to the camp that these are the four who betrayed us on the floor of parliament,” one insider said.
“In fact, three of them did not travel back with us on the bus to the hotel after the election ended. Only one travelled back with us, but quickly disappeared straight after we did a head count in the hotel,” the insider said.
“Of course that’s their decision, but we still want them to be part of our camp to make up a strong Opposition,” he added.
A spokesman for the Sogavare camp (Democratic Coalition for Change) said they don’t know which MPs from the other camp switched their allegiance during the voting.
“It’s a secret ballot so we don’t know which of the MPs from the other camp,” the spokesman said.
However, he said they have spoken to a number of MPs in the other camp prior to the election, and who have expressed their support for Mr Sogavare.
“If indeed the four named MPs were the ones who switched their allegiance, then that’s good on them because they made the right decision,” the spokesman said.
He added the Democratic Coalition for Change is still opened for any MPs from the Opposition who may wish to join the government side.
Attempts to locate the four MPs yesterday for comments were not possible.
By JEREMY INIFIRI