MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for Small Malaita Rick Hou is being tipped for the Prime Minister’s post while the caretaker PM Manasseh Sogavare is likely to be his deputy.
The deal was believed to have been reached last night following the defection of seven Opposition members to form a coalition with the caretaker government, a source close to the new coalition said last night.
The Opposition MPs who joins the caretaker government are: Dr Culwick Togamana, Connelley Sandakabatu, Jeremiah Manele, Rick Hou, Derek Manu’ari, Peter Tom and Steve Abana.
A statement from the Caretaker Government last night confirmed that Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) and Solomon Islands People’s First Party MPs have joined alliance with the remaining 23 Members of Parliament in the Sogavare-led caretaker Government to form the next coalition.
The statement however said, discussions for their nominations for the Prime Minister’s post is still underway and will be submitting their nomination to the Office of the Governor-General when the nomination period is officially announced.
A coalition agreement is expected to be executed shortly, the brief statement concluded.
Following their defection, the caretaker government now has 30 on its side while the Opposition is now left with 20 MPs.
The 7 MPs were part of the Opposition side which ousted Sogavare during the vote on Monday evening.
Last night six of the MPs met with the caretaker Prime Minister and his group at the Cabinet Office for a brief meeting.
A group photo was taken after the meeting which vent viral via the social media last night.
A source from the group exclusively told the Solomon Star last night, the caretaker government welcomed these 7 MPs because they (DCCG) agreed to have Mr Hou as their candidate for the PM’s post.
One of the Opposition MPs who switched side told the Solomon Star, they decided to move out because many of the MPs in their camp are not in support of the Anti-Corruption Bill (ACB) and the country’s stand on West Papua.
Caretaker Prime Minister could be seen smiling after welcoming the group led by Mr Hou.
Despite the political situation Mr Sogavare continued with his normal public engagement.
Its understood yesterday he attended the Australian Pacific Technical College (APTC) 10th anniversary celebration at Kukum Campus.
APTC celebrates its 10the year anniversary of providing Technical and Vocation Education and Training (TVET) in the Pacific.
Meanwhile the news of the MPs teaming up with the caretaker government has been welcomed by many citizens through the social media last night.
Some have described the move as very wise and in the best interest of the nation.
Others said, this is the best line up and the country deserves these quality leaders who have a heart to move this country forward.
Another commentator said, the sudden switch has affected the Opposition in their quest to lead the next government.
“Now we know who are the leaders that have a heart to serve this nation and those who just want to serve their personal agendas.”
The date for the election is likely to be announced soon.
By MOFFAT MAMU SSNews