By EDNAL PALMER
Six parliamentary members of the Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) and one member of the Solomon Islands People First Party (SIPFP), have taken a bold move that now see former DCCG group regaining its numerical strength ahead of the election of a Prime Minister.
The six from DAP are: Jeremiah Manele, Rick Hou, Dr. Culwick Togamana, Steve Abana, Connelly Sandakabatu, Peter Tom, and Derrick Manuari from SIPFP.
The move left the opposition camp at the Honiara Hotel in numerical agony.
The seven additions to the former DCCG group now re-enforces the group’s numerical standing to 30.
The opposition camp now limps with only 20 members and have to come up with draw-cards to convince members within former DCCG group, on what drastic positive impacts they will inflict on the country within the one-year period that is left, if they control the boat.
And on top of that, the possibility that a number of significant issues that the former DCCG regime and some of the DAP and SIPFP believe in, such as the Anti-Corruption Bill and the West Papua issue, are likely to be jilted by the opposition grouping, is a give-away.
For instance, a senior MP in the opposing group at Honiara Hotel Moffat Fugui openly stated that he does not support the West Papua cause. The caretaker Prime Minister also spilt on the floor of Parliament during the motion debate that the DCCG defectors were the very people who wanted the Anti-Corruption Bill shelved until the last breath of DCCG next year.
Whatever reasons there are for yesterday’s mass crossing, one practical reason according to sources was the opposing group at the Honiara Hotel prefer other candidates over DAP’s Rick Hou for the top post.
The Honiara Hotel camp overlooked the fact that DAP holds the balance of power and they have been leading the Parliamentary Opposition Office during this political term.
The public have their own reasons.
Members of the public have been questioning what national good a new government under a new leadership will do within the remaining political term.
On the Solomon Fresh-Beat Online Face Book page, most commentators applauded the move made by DAP and SIPFP for seeing the need for the ousted regime to complete the term in office even though under a new leadership.
“If this group holds, I have all the confidence that with their qualification, experience and resolve, they shall sail SI into a peaceful harbor,” one commentator says.
For now, it would be conclusive to say the captaincy is between Rick Hou and Jeremiah Manele, but a number of reasons suggests so.
Firstly, DAP now holds the balance of power and their parliamentary ace men are the duo.
But in the Solomon Islands politics, one week is a lot of ample time. Robust lobbying sometimes only ends at the parliament doorsteps.
The date set for the election of a new Prime Minister is November 15 – exactly a week away.
The remaining days therefore certainly holds a lot of political drama that the public can only sit back and watch.
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