Sogavare, Fugui, Hou among names mentioned
THE question looming in the minds of many Solomon Islanders is who will be the country’s next Prime Minister?
This will be revealed next Tuesday when all 50 MPs vote for the country’s new prime minister.
Already former Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare has been confirmed as the candidate from the Coalition bloc based at the Honiara Hotel camp, which is made up of the United Democratic Party, Kadere Party and defected members of the People’s Alliance Party.
Mr Sogavare came out on top during a series of elimination rounds held by the group on Tuesday night.
However, reports have surfaced that Mr Sogavare’s nomination has fuelled disharmony amongst the newly formed coalition bloc, with some of its members already threatening to move to the opposite camp at Mendana Hotel.
This was after the understanding that a majority of the MPs want the prime minister to be a Malaitan.
One of the coalition’s prominent figures reported to be on the move is Central Honiara MP; John Moffat Fugui, who was claimed to have been offered the Prime Ministerial candidacy with the Solomon Islands People’s Democratic Coalition (SIPDC).
Mr Fugui was the UDP’s candidate for Prime Minister during their group’s elimination rounds, however was unsuccessful as majority support went to Mr Sogavare.
Meanwhile, at Mendana, one of the names floated for the top job is Small Malaita MP Rick Hou.
The former Finance Minister under the NCRA Government was one of three Malaitan MPs from the coalition reported to be vying for the top job.
However, Solomon Star understands that the other two; East Malaita MP and former Deputy Prime Minister; Manasseh Maelanga and Fataleka MP; Steve Abana have both withdrawn their intensions to run for PM in a bid to lure more supporters to the SIPDC camp.
However, the question remains who will take up that leadership at SIPDC if Mr Fugui does move to join them.
Sources from the Honiara Hotel camp last night denied the claims that Mr Fugui was moving over to the other camp, adding that he is one of the strongest supporters behind Mr Sogavare and will be supporting him in Tuesday’s Prime Minister’s election.
“We do not know where these reports or rather speculations come from, but Mr Fugui is with the Honiara Hotel camp and will remain here with us.
“Our numbers have not changed. We remain locked at 27 and are expecting more from the other camp to join us in the coming days,” a spokesman said.
Sources from the SIPDC however said dialogues have already been underway with moves by various MPs from the Honiara Hotel camp expected in the coming days.
By JEREMY INIFIRI