Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 18:15 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 18:15 | SYDNEY

Solomon Islands: No confidence


Jenny Hayward-Jones


27 June 2008 16:23

The spate of new policy announcements by Australia’s ALP Government would suggest it is feeling the weight of expectation usually placed on new governments to bring about quick change. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Derek Sikua, who has been in power for roughly the same amount of time as Kevin Rudd, is under similar pressure to perform. He does not, however, have the same luxury as his Australian counterpart of a three-year term to implement his agenda.

Only seven months into his term, Sikua is already facing a threat from Opposition leader Manasseh Sogavare to move a motion of no confidence in him in the July-August parliamentary session.

Sogavare, who was himself ousted as Prime Minister when he was defeated in a motion of no confidence moved by Sikua in December last year (25 votes to 22), claimed his announcement was motivated by Sikua’s failure to deal with the strike by Our Telekom staff and rising food and fuel costs in Solomon Islands. Sogavare also said his announcement would allow the public to debate and draw conclusions on the issues affecting the country. 

I’m not quite sure why Solomon Islands, which has an open society and a free press, needs the prospect of a motion of no confidence to inspire public debate on governments’ performance. 

The real damage done by this kind of threat to Sikua is that he will now have to spend every waking moment and every resource available to him ensuring members of his CNURA government maintain support for him in the lead-up to a possible vote rather than getting on with the job of governing Solomon Islands. This might be democracy but it hardly encourages effective government.