Trekking in Bougainville – Lake Billy Mitchell

February 14, 2012

Back in March last year, three friends and I went trekking in Bougainville. Our aim was to reach the remote, spectacular Lake Billy Mitchell, which is set in the crater of a dormant volcano, not far from the active volcano of Mount Bagana.

This post describes the highlight of the walk – Lake Billy Mitchell – and provides an overview of the trek itself. It also includes some information on the tour company who organised the trek (Zhon Bosco Miriona from Bougainville Experience Tours) and also travel and accommodation in Buka and Arawa.

(Thanks to Mads for help with the write-up, to Nick for the pics, and to Ads for the company.)

Lake Billy Mitchell (aka Erovit)

Lake Billy Mitchell

Lake Billy Mitchell

The highlight of the walk is Lake Billy Mitchell, which was named after an American general who is, according to Wikipedia, “regarded as the father of the US Air Force”. The local name for the lake is Erovit, which roughly translated means “place where the waters boiled up and overflowed”.

The lake is surrounded on all sides by the crater’s edge, which rises up to altitudes around 1,100-1,500m at different points and then drops steeply down about 200-300m before reaching the lake. The lake itself is quite large, perhaps 2km in diameter, and has a small island in the south-western corner. Check out this wonderful aerial pic of the lake.

We climbed up the eastern side of the crater, which meant that when turned our backs to the lake, we could look beyond the jungle-covered river valley that we had followed on the way up and see the Bougainville coast in the distance. It was quite a view.

It is also possible to wade up the river to the mouth of the lake: check out this short YouTube clip.

The trek

We began the trek from a guesthouse inland from the village of Manetai in Central Bougainville. Manetai is about 2.5 hours drive south along the main trunk road from Buka/Kokopau (and about 1 hours drive north of Arawa). The guesthouse is owned by Joachim and Philemina and we were the first tourists to visit. They were great hosts.

Like several other treks that I’ve done in the region, the walk to Lake Billy Mitchell follows a river system that flows from the mountains out to the coast. Indeed, we got to know the Bove River intimately on the walk, crossing it or wading our way along it at least 120 times before we lost count. Consequently, for much of the trek we were threading our way over river stones or clambering around boulders on the river banks, all of which makes this a fairly challenging walk.

It’s not possible to camp at the lake itself – the crater’s edge rises up on a sheer gradient on all sides and is thickly covered by jungle or ferns – so our guides set up a camp for us at a point several hours walk from the lake itself. It took us about 5-6 hours to get to the camp and, ideally, we would’ve stopped there for the day. However, because we had only allowed two days to get to the lake and back, we pressed on to the lake itself in the afternoon.

The camp site is known as Dakanwa, which roughly translated means “where the dry riverbed starts”. And true to its name, the walk subsequently changed from wading back-and-forth through the Bove River to threading our way along the river bed.

Camp site

Camp site, "Dakanwa"

Ultimately, two of us turned back early, fearful that they’d be unable to make it up and back before nightfall. Nick and I pressed on and managed to get the lake and back again by 6pm, shortly before nightfall. However, we only had about 15-20 minutes to take in the spectacular views at the top: the round trip took us 11 hours at a fairly decent pace.

In short, two days is not really sufficient if you want time to enjoy the trek and minimise the risk of injuries. But over three days, I reckon it’s a terrific, if challenging, adventure:

  • Day One: walk to base camp
  • Day Two: walk up to the lake and back to base camp
  • Day Three walk back out again

(Each day should involve about 5-7 hours of walking.)

For almost the entire distance, the trek runs through jungle with significant shade, with just one stretch of about 20-30 minutes where the river opens out and is exposed to the sun. Although much of the walk is challenging because of the uneven, rocky ground, it is rarely technical.

Buka/Kokopau

Buka has a small ‘central business district’ (ie, main road) located by the beautiful and fast flowing Buka passage. Basic supplies for the trek can be purchased in local trade stores. Apart from a jumping-off point for your travels in the rest of Bougainville, the Buka town area has little to recommend it for the traveller. However surrounding islands such as Madehas, Sohano and White Island are great for snorkelling, fishing and picnics, and easily reached by banana boat. The upturned Japanese light bomber located in approximately 3-4 metres of water in the Buka passage provides an interesting focal point for snorkelling. Unfortunately Bougainville has no dive infrastructure.

Accommodation in Bougainville is basic and relatively expensive. In Buka town itself, Kuri Lodge (973 9155, or 973 9151) is a Bougainville institution with a pleasant waterside setting and passable meals, but very average rooms. The newly-opened Destiny Guesthouse is close by and shares the water views with nicer rooms. Linchari Guesthouse and Hani’s Inn (973 9930, 973 9066) are also decent options.

By far the best and cleanest option in town is Malabolo Resort which offers beautiful views, setting and food. It is located about 10km outside town in the Hutjena area – PMVs into town run frequently and are inexpensive (K2/psn). However, at around K500 per night, the Resort itself is pretty hard on the wallet.

Buka and Kokopau are sister towns, separated by the narrow, fast-flowing Buka passage. Numerous banana boats cross the passage daily, taking folks from Buka to Kokopau on the mainland. From there, the main trunk road runs along the east coast of Bougainville to Arawa (about 5 hours drive) and then through to Buin in South Bougainville. The road crosses numerous rivers and is occasionally impassable due to flooding, even for the hardy troop-carrier drivers. However, several bridges were being built by the Japanese government when we visited and should be completed soon.

Arawa, Kieta and Panguna mine

Kieta

Kieta

It’s hard to visit Arawa and not be in awe of the state of the town. The pre-crisis planning and infrastructure (squash courts, petrol stations, footpaths and well planned streets) are still in evidence, notwithstanding the effects of the conflict and subsequent lack of maintenance. In town, the Arawa market is superior to the Buka market with a wider variety of goods for sale.

To the south of Arawa, it is worth taking a drive out to Kieta, Happy Valley and as far as the former international Airport of Aropa to fully appreciate what was lost during the ten-year ‘crisis period’. Outside of Arawa, a side trip to the old mine port of Loloho can also be worthwhile (it is on your way into town when coming from the north).

Happy Valley

WII tank, Happy Valley

From Arawa it is also possible to arrange travel up into the old Panguna Mine area, however as this involves passing through the Morgan’s Junction road block into the ‘no go zone’ travel would need to be arranged in advance and may be risky.

Accommodation in Arawa is more limited than in Buka. Poonang Navi Inn, run by the friendly Pam and her daughters Lulu and Matilda is a standout and worth coming home to after a hard trek. Great food, clean, comfortable rooms, hot water and friendly staff make it the place to stay, but make sure you book in advance as it is often full (as it was during our stay). The Arawa Women’s Training Centre also provides clean, albeit basic and safe accommodation.

As Arawa is not yet hooked up to PNG Power the whole town is powered by private generators, which can only be run in the morning and evenings. The poor quality of town water supply means that only tank water should be used for drinking and washing.

Other treks in Bougainville

Whilst we were organising the trek, we heard about several other interesting treks that would be well worth considering.

The Numa Numa trail: this trek crosses the island from east to west, following the tracks along which Japanese and American troops fought during WWII. The trek starts near the town of Wakunai (accessible from the main trunk road) and finishes in the town of Torokina (accessible by banana boat). I know of one group who did the trek in four days: apparently it was fairly challenging but very rewarding.

Extensions to the Billy Mitchell trek: we were told afterwards that locals have found an intact American WWII plane and dog-tags on the far side of the mountain that houses Lake Billy Mitchell. It may also be possible to walk over the other side of the island.

Mount Balbi: our tour organiser, Zhon Bosco, also mentioned a walk up Mount Balbi in Central Bougainville.

Bougainville Experience Tours

Bougainville Experience Tours (BET) is a tour company based in Arawa, Central Bougaiville, owned by Zhon Bosco Miriona.

Zhon Bosco organized our trek, including our accommodation in Manetai, and we were generally happy with the service he provided.

He offers packaged tours for individual visitors and small groups of travellers who are interested in bushwalking, trekking, snorkelling, bird watching, cultural festivities and visits to local villages. In particular, Zhon Bosco has taken tours of birdwatchers who have read “Birds and Bird Lore of Bougainville and the North Solomons” by Don Hadden (2004).
Contact details:

  • Phone: +675 7162 6393, or +675 7626 3583
  • Fax: +675 7650 2566
  • Email: zbosco@bougtours.com

PNG trek – Highlands to the coast

October 26, 2010

1. Trek overview and highlights 

Chimbu highlands, Kegsugl

In September 2010, two friends (Pete and Iris) and I trekked from the PNG Highlands down to the north coast. We began at the base of Mount Wilhelm in Chimbu Province (starting at an altitude of around 2,800m) and followed an old vehicle track down to the town of Madang. The trek itself took us three days and afforded stunning views along the way. It was a real treat and relatively easy to organise through Betty’s Lodge. I highly recommend it.

In addition to the trek itself, the trip had several other highlights. If you haven’t been to the Highlands before, you can get a great introduction during the five-hour road trip from Hagen through the Waghi Valley to Kundiawa and then up into the Chimbu Highlands. And at the end of the drive, we were all enchanted by our short stay at Betty’s Lodge.

We completed the trip in four days and returned to work in Moresby early on the fifth day. For fit trekkers, it should be possible to cut a day off the walk although I think that would be a shame. Alternatively, for travellers with more time, here are several very appealing variations that could be add to the basic itinerary.

  • Climb Mount Wilhelm: the climb to the peak of Mount Wilhelm (at 4,509m, PNG’s highest) is very popular, even though quite a few people don’t quite make it to the top due to the effects of altitude. A typical trip might take a day to get to Betty’s Lodge, a day at base camp to adjust to the altitude and then a day up to the peak and back down to the Lodge. Thus, you could combine the climb to the peak and the walk down to the coast in six days, or longer if you wanted to spend more time in the middle relaxing at Betty’s Lodge.
  • Enjoy Madang: both Madang town and Madang Province have much on offer for travellers and tourists. If you have time, this is an obvious place to relax and explore (for some suggestions, see my earlier post on Madang).
  • Goroka to Mt Wilhelm trek: Goroka is a beautiful part of the Highlands (see earlier post) and apparently there is an old road from Goroka through to the base of Mt Wilhelm that takes perhaps two days to walk. If the three-day trek is not enough for you, it may be possible to start at Goroka, hike to Betty’s Lodge and then continue on to Madang (perhaps five days total). Or for the full bonanza, why not trek from Goroka to Betty’s Lodge, then head up to the peak and back and then continue all the way to Madang? I reckon it would be possible to do the whole trip in seven days if you were pushing it – and what an awesome week that would be!

The rest of this post sets out the basic four-day itinerary that we followed (Section 2) and then provides the logistical details (contacts, costs and precautions we took, Section 3). My trekking companion, Iris, has also provided a good description of the trek on her blog.

Read the rest of this entry »

Harry on holiday

September 23, 2010

For those loyal readers who have been following this blog, my apologies for the absence of posts in the last month.

I’ve been unusually busy of late and so haven’t had the time I would like to maintain the blog.  I am heading off on holiday for the next two or so weeks, 10 days of which will be in Sollies, the remainder in Canberra.  I am very much looking forward to seeing old friends and, of course, my family :-).

I hope that once I return in mid-October, I will be able to resume my regular entries on Solomons politics.  Also, at some stage in the next few weeks I will write up my notes on a terrific trek some friends and I did from the New Guinea highlands to the north coast.

cheers,
Harry

Election linkage

August 14, 2010

It seems that the former CNURA camp has consolidated its position and now claims to have the support of 30 MPs, whilst the other camps appear to be splintering.

There may now be four or even five separate camps.  The RDP has reportedly broken with the other members of the Pacific Casino group (OUR party and the DDP) and established itself at Red Mansion Hotel.  And several new MPs including Namson Tran, Jimmy Rasta Lusibaea and possibly some from Western Province have also reportedly established their own camp.

Derick Manu’ari has provided a good overview of the latest developments – check out his blog.

The best reports on recent developments have come from One Television (see here and here) and the Solomon Star (here).

Finally, for those who are curious about the new (or perhaps not-so-new) Independent Democratic Party, which is based at Honiara Hotel, its party secretary Leonard Kaitu’u attempted to set the record straight in a letter to the editor that also appeared on Friday 13th.

Election analysis (2)

August 11, 2010

Here is my second piece of analysis on the Solomon Islands election results. I have included an updated list of incoming MPs, their party affiliation (to the best of my knowledge) and their winning vote at the end of the post.

Half-old and half-new, but clearly a new generation

Peter Kenilorea – take a bow! He predicted that roughly half the incumbents would be ousted and half returned. He’s exactly right: just as in 2006, 25 MPs have been returned and 25 have been replaced (including three who did not recontest and one seat that was vacant following the recent death of late Edward Huni’ehu).

To be honest, I’m a little surprised incumbents did so well given the record number of candidates contesting the election. I’m also surprised that incumbents have won back some of the most heavily contested seats – Clay Forau, Sam Iduri, Toswell Kaua, James Tora and Gordon Darcy Lilo have all triumphed in fields of 14 or more candidates. (Admittedly, six other seats with 14 or more candidates returned new MPs, although in two of those the incumbent did not recontest.)

As I mentioned in my previous post, however, the more interesting story is which of the incumbents have been ousted. Only six MPs have returned out of the 25 who had served more than one term, and of these, two (Folotalu and Tora) have each served less than 1.5 terms, both having won a by-election at some point. By contrast, from the 24 members of the “class of 2006”, 19 have been returned.

Even with the return of an old-hand like former four-term MP Danny Philip, this parliament will have 43 MPs who have been elected to parliament within the last four years – generational change indeed. However, as I discuss further below, the five remaining old hands who have served more than two full terms – Tausinga, Philip, Rini, Sogavare and Darcy Lilo – are all exerting their influence. All five are potential prime ministerial candidates and all five are heavily involved in the current lobbying efforts for their respective parties.

Party affiliations

It is always very difficult to pin down party affiliations so I think I can be forgiven for a few errors in my previous election analysis. Here are some updates and corrections, with a summary table further below.

Overall, it now seems that there are six ‘parties’ to watch, whereas I had mainly focused on four (SIDP, OUR party, SIPRA and RDP). Perhaps the biggest development is the announcement that the influential Association of Independent Members (AIM) has been replaced by the Independent Democratic Party (IDP) and continues to receive support from businessman Tommy Chan. AIM was part of the CNURA coalition but that relationship soured after its parliamentary leader, Synder Rini, was sacked by Sikua in April.

So far, I’m only aware of two returning IDP/AIM MPs (Rini and Varian Lonamei) but the party secretary, Leonard Kaitu’u, claims that the IDP ran a ‘silent, low profile campaign’ contesting 47 electorates and that a remarkable 19 IDP candidates had won seats in the new parliament (Solomon Star, 10/08/10). This number seems very large and perhaps is somewhat inflated so as to appeal to new, inexperienced MPs. But I’m only speculating – things will become clearer in the coming days.

The other player I underestimated is the Direct Development Party, led by former SICHE Director Dick Ha’amori. New MP for East Guadalcanal, Bradley Tovosia, can claim the dubious distinction of being the first MP to change parties – he announced today that he was leaving OUR party to join the DDP (OneTV, 10/08/10).

Tovosia is closely followed by East Honiara MP, Douglas Ete, who is part of Philips’ RDP but now says that he is also affiliated with the DDP (OneTV, 9/08/10).  Finally, reports suggest that John Moffat Fugui, the new MP for Central Honiara, is also a DDP member, giving it a total of four representatives (OneTV, 8/08/10).

SIDP’s final position has strengthened with late results.  It picked up three extra seats with victories to Walter Folotalu in Lau/Mbaelelea (although this may be subject to an election petition, see more below), Alfred Ghiro in East Makira and Martin Kialoe in Malaita Outer Islands.  Furthermore, it seems that James Tora and newcomer Connelly Sadakabutu are now also with SIDP, bringing its parliamentary membership to 14.

OUR party is a little stronger (4 MPs) thanks to the victory of Joseph Onika in East Guadalcanal.

Finally, a few minor parties have a single representative each. It seems that Seth Gukuna (Rennell Bellona) joined Fred Fono’s People’s Congress Party and so with Fono’s defeat, Gukuna may be the PCP’s sole MP. Prior to the election, news reports suggested that Clay Forau (Temotu Vatud) was the chair of the People’s Federation Party – he has also been re-elected.

Nonetheless, I’m still inclined to think that the PCP, the PFP, Samuel Manetoali’s RUPP and possibly even the Liberal Party are all likely to dissolve sometime over the next term of parliament, and probably sooner rather than later.

Party

Candidates

SIDP

14

OUR party

4

SIPRA

3-4

DDP

4

RDP-SI

2

IDP/AIM

2

RUPP

1

PCP

1-2

People’s Federation Party

1

Liberal Party

1-2

PAP

0

Nasnol

0-3

Independent/unknown

12-16

TOTAL

50

Note: SIPRA’s fourth member is Elijah Doro Muala, who may also be with the Nasnol Pati.  I’ve updated this table to reflect a recent interview with Matthew Wale (OneTV, 13/08/10) in which he stated that the PCP has 2 MPs, the Liberals have 2, SIPRA has 3 and Nasnol has 3. All party affiliations are subject to change at short notice!

The next government – rival camps

The shape of the opposing camps is becoming a little clearer thanks in particular to these helpful reports (OneTV, 10/08/10 and Solomon Times, 11/08/10).

The first camp is formed around members of the outgoing CNURA government. They start with 11 members of the SIDP, Sikua and possibly the lone member of the PCP, Seth Gukuna.  In addition, several other former CNURA members have been returned and some are likely to ally themselves with the new Sikua/SIDP grouping.   My guess is that they will have a reasonably solid core of about 15-18 votes.

The challenge for this camp is to ensure that it has a balanced regional mix.   At present, they have a very strong Malaitan representation, several Guale MPs (Sikua, Dei Pacha and newcomer Moses Garu) and newcomer Alfred Ghiro from Makira.  To establish and maintain a stable government, I suspect that the coalition will need to be balanced with representation from the west (Western and/or Choiseul) and the east (Temotu and/or Makira).

(Update 14/08/10: SIDP now has 14 members and in a recent interview (OneTV, 13/08/10), Matthew Wale has claimed that their coalition now has 30 MPs (SIDP = 14, PCP =2, Liberals = 2, SIPRA = 3, Nasnol = 3 and independents =6, including Clay Forau, Samuel Manetoali and Martin Magga.)

A second camp is based at Honiara Hotel and includes the IDP and possibly SIPRA.  IDP Secretary Kaitu’u indicated that Rini will be a candidate for PM (Solomon Star, 10/08/10) and SIPRA has signalled that Tausinga will nominate once again (Solomon Star 10/08/10).

A third camp has established itself at Pacific Casino Hotel and revolves around OUR party, the DDP and the RDP.  Sogavare has indicated that he will be a candidate for PM (OneTV, 9/08/10) and previous Sogavare-backer, independent MP Bobo Dettke is also reported to be attached to this group.

During the election campaign, RDP’s leader, Danny Philip, signalled that he would also contest the prime ministership, meaning that the Pacific Casino camp may have to choose between at least two experienced, strong personalities. Philip was previously a foreign affairs minister for part of the first Sogavare government (2000-01), during which time he was involved in controversy when he threatened switch diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China ‘unless Taiwan came up with US$40 million in assistance’ (Fraenkel J 2004, The Manipulation of Custom, p.124). He later resigned in June 2001.

Earlier, Philip and Tausinga were both members of the opposition during the Ulufa’alu-SIAC government (1997-2000). Indeed, Tausinga replaced Philip as opposition leader in March 1998 ‘following allegations that Philip had misused a small project fund’ (Moore C 2004, Happy Isles in Crisis, p.102). Earlier still, Philip was Deputy PM under Mamaloni until he was sacked in 1995.

Beyond this broad sketch of the three camps, much remains uncertain. Personally, I feel for whoever is elected to represent East Makira and Malaita Outer Islands. By the time their results are declared, much of the politicking will be well advanced. And when they eventually reach Honiara, they may well be met by three different welcoming parties each hoping to woo them to their camp.

Election petitions

Various news bulletins have already reported suggestions that losing candidates my lodge petitions in West Honiara (Tran), Lau/Mbaelelea (Folotalu), Small Malaita (Hou), Maringe/Kokota (Lonamei), North East Guadalcanal (Sikua) and Ngella (Mark Kemakeza).  It remains to be seen whether any or all of these threats eventuate.   Of 31 previous election petitions that are listed on the PacLII database, only three have been successful (see my earlier post on election petitions for further details).

In West Honiara, the complaint relates to registered voters who were not resident in the electorate. In Lau/Mbaelelea, unhappy supporters of one of the candidates burned a ballot box and destroyed all the ballots inside.

Whilst both cases seem like reasonable grounds for appeal, I suspect that the size of the winning margin may also influence potential petitioners. For example, in West Honiara, Namson Tran defeated the second-placed Isaac Inoke by almost 3,000 votes, a little under 40% of the total. And in Maringe/Kokota, although the winning margin is not quite so dramatic, a win of around 400 votes (or 9% of total) would seem like a modest buffer against complaints of irregularities.

I have few details on the grounds of complaint for Small Malaita, North East Guadalcanal and Ngella, so I can’t comment on what may happen there.

Strong wins

When you’re wrong, you might as well admit it. I predicted that many MPs would win with a very low proportion of the vote, for the simple reason that there was a record number of candidates.  Contrary to my prediction, it is already clear that a remarkable number of MPs have had very big wins. At least five MPs have won more than two-thirds of the vote (Tausinga, Maelanga, Sogavare, Sofu and Manetoali).  Another four have won an absolute majority (Tran, Shanel, Lusibaea and Laore) and five more have won more than 40% of the vote.  And this just out of the 37 results of which I am aware.

I’ve already commented on some of the strong winners in my earlier post.  A couple more stand out: Samuel Manetoali faced six opponents and yet won 66.9%, whilst Bobo Dettke was challenged by 13 other candidates and still won 41.6%.

It is less surprising that four seats have been won with less than 20% of the vote and all were heavily contested.  In the most heavily contested seat of them all, John Moffat Fugui, facing 22 opponents in East Honiara, won with just 14.9%.

Incumbents – provincial analysis

The table below shows how incumbents have fared in different provinces. Honiara, Western, Guadalcanal and Makira have each replaced a large share of their MPs. Malaita, Isabel and Temotu have been kinder to their sitting MPs.

Province

1993

1997

2001

2006

2010

Renell Bellona

1/1

0/1

0/1

0/1

1/1

Malaita

8/13

4/13

6/14

5/14

8/14

Guadalcanal

5/8

4/8

2/8

4/8

4/8

West

6/9

7/9

3/9

8/9

4/9

Central

2/2

2/2

1/2

1/2

1/2

Makira

¾

3/4

2/4

3/4

1/4

Choiseul

2/3

1/3

2/3

3/3

1/3

Temotu

½

1/2

3/3

1/3

2/3

Honiara

½

0/2

0/3

0/3

0/3

Isabel

2/3

1/3

0/3

0/3

3/3

TOTAL

31/47

25/47

19/50

25/50

25/50

Results and party affiliations

(as at 10 August)

CENTRAL

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Ngella Mark Kemakeza* Ind.

24.5

12

Savo and Russells Dickson Panakitasi OUR

42.7

6

CHOISEUL

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

East Choiseul Manesseh Sogavare* OUR

72.3

4

North West Choiseul Connelly Sandakabatu Ind.

30.0

6

South Choiseul Elijah Doro Muala SIPRA

18.3

13

GUADALCANAL

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Central Guadalcanal Peter Shanel* OUR

55.4

2

East Central Guadalcanal Joseph Onika OUR

11

East Guadalcanal Bradley Tovosia Ind.

10

North East Guadalcanal Derick Sikua* Liberal

6

North Guadalcanal Martin Sopaghe* Ind.

31.4

13

North West Guadalcanal Bobo Dettke Ind.

41.6

14

South Guadalcanal David Dei Pacha* SIDP

12

West Guadalcanal Moses Garu SIDP

11

HONIARA

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Central Honiara John Moffat Fugui DDP

14.9

23

East Honiara Douglas Ete DDP/RDP

38.7

12

West Honiara Namson Tran Ind.

57.7

6

ISABEL

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Gao/Bugotu Samuel Manetoali* RUPP

66.9

7

Hograno/Kia/Havulei Selwyn Riumana* Ind.

35.3

10

Maringe/Kokota Varian Lonamei* IDP

32.7

10

MAKIRA

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Central Makira Hypolite Taremae Ind.

33.9

16

East Makira Alfred Ghiro SIDP

14

Ulawa/Ugi James Tora* Ind.

26.1

14

West Makira Dick Ha’amori DDP

18.6

15

MALAITA

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Aoke/Langa Langa Matthew Wale* SIDP

37.3

6

Baegu/Asifola Toswell Kaua* Ind.

23.7

14

Central Kwara’ae Jackson Fiulaua Ind.

45.5

11

East Are Are Andrew Keniasina Ind.

8

East Kwaio Stanley Sofu* SIDP

68.9

4

East Malaita Manasseh Maelanga* SIDP

71.5

7

Fataleka Steve Abana* SIDP

36.6

9

Lau Mbaelelea Walter Folotalu SIDP

11

Malaita Outer Islands

7

North Malaita Jimmy Lusibaea Ind.

49.8

9

Small Malaita Rick Houenipwela SIDP

15

West Are Are John Maneniaru Ind.

10

West Kwaio Peter Tom* SIDP

35.0

13

West Kwara’ae Sam Iduri* SIDP

18.2

18

RENNELL BELLONA

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Rennell Bellona Seth Gukuna* PCP

47.9

8

TEMOTU

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Temotu Nende Commins Mewa Ind.

29.9

8

Temotu Pele Martin Magga Ind.

13

Temotu Vatud Clay Forau Soalaoi Ind.

19

WESTERN

Electorate Winner Party

Vote

Cand’s

Gizo/Kolombangara Gordon Darcy Lilo* SIPRA

38.7

14

Marovo Snyder Rini* IDP

37.2

12

North New Georgia Job Tausinga* SIPRA

74.2

3

North Vella La Vella Milner Tozaka* Ind.

45.1

6

Ranongga/Simbo Charles Sigoto RDP

38.8

5

Shortland Islands Steve Laore Ind.

50.3

7

Sth New Georg-Rend-Tetep Danny Philip RDP

39.4

8

South Vella La Vella Lionel Alex Ind.

26.5

6

Vona Vona/Wst New Georg Silas Tausinga SIPRA

27.7

12

Note: these results come from the SIBC web site and a report in the Island Sun.  Where the two sources overlapped and can be compared, I’ve noticed that there discrepancies in some of the figures.  Consequently, it’s possible that some of the winning votes are slightly inaccurate. I will make a note of any subsequent corrections.

Updates (11/08/10 and 14/08/10): I have updated the original post to reflect the victories of Alfred Ghiro and Martin Kialoe, both SIDP members, in East Makira and Malaita Outer Islands, respectively.  I have also updated the party numbers based on more recent reports.  Finally, I have corrected a confusion regarding the RDP and the Reform and Democratic Party – they are one and the same (for a while, I had thought that RDP stood for Rural Development Party but I was incorrect). Consequently, I have had to edit some references to the RDP and Danny Philip, particularly in the ‘rival camps’ section of this post.

Election analysis

August 8, 2010

As at Sunday evening, I’ve cobbled together 43 results (or, in a couple of cases, ‘likely wins’) thanks to: some excellent reporting by Arekaman on the Tutuvatu public forum and by Derick Manu’ari on his blog; and regular updates by the SIBC. My list is at the bottom of this post.

Downfall of the ‘big men’, start of a new generation?

So far, the ratio of newcomers to incumbents is pretty close to 50/50. So far, so unsurprising. The big story, of course, is the fall of many high profile, long-serving MPs including former Prime Ministers Francis Billy Hilly and Allan Kemakeza, former Deputy PM Fred Fono, a couple of three-term MPs (Patteson Oti and William Haomae) and a swag of two-term MPs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Election results – linkage

August 5, 2010

Here are some of the sites giving the best online coverage of the election results:

I hope to post some initial comment and analysis on the election results at some stage over the weekend.

2010 election update

July 24, 2010

With the Solomon Islands election fast approaching, this post provides an overview of my election coverage and also commentary on some of the trends and contests. (Some additional details are available in my earlier election updates from 17 April and 29 June.)

I have published the full list of candidates for each province. Several contributors have added a considerable amount to the information I had gathered – please feel free to add comments with further info. Here are the posts for each province: Malaita, Guadalcanal, Western, Makira, Honiara, Choiseul, Temotu, Isabel, Central, Rennell Bellona

I have also published two lists: the female candidates that I’m aware of and an overview of the 19 political parties contesting the 2010 election.

Another heavily contested election

A record number of 509 candidates will contest the 4 August election, up from the previous record of 453 in 2006. This equates to an average of 10.2 candidates per seat in 2010, up from 9.0 per seat in 2006. There will also be a record number of political parties – at least 19, and up from the 16 or so that contested in 2006.

Read the rest of this entry »

Solomons political parties

July 24, 2010

This post records all of the parties contesting the 2010 elections in Solomon Islands. I have previously posted on the proliferation of new political parties on 15 February, 13 March and 17 April. Rather than posting more updates, I will keep updating this post at least until election day (August 4). I will make a note of the date of when the post was most recently updated.

There are at least 19 parties that I’m aware of contesting the 2010 election, which is almost certainly a record. In a 2006 article, political analyst Sam Alasia (who is also a candidate in this election), reported that 16 parties contested the 2006 elections, up from 10 and 9 in the previous two elections (Alasia 2006, “Rainbows across the mountains: the first post-RAMSI general election, p.122).

Of the 19 parties, 12 have been established in the last six months. As with previous elections, it seems likely that several will not achieve any parliamentary representation and will dissolve shortly after August 4. In some cases, it seems that parties are established to promote a single candidacy, or to give extra profile to a small number of candidates.

Possible Prime Ministerial candidates

The main purpose of several of the larger parties seems to be to give profile to potential prime ministerial candidates, and also to help those candidates build a solid bloc of votes to help in the negotiations following an election. Several parties have already flagged their intentions to seek to lead the next government. Here is my list of possible prime ministerial candidates, assuming that they first win election to parliament:

  • Manasseh Sogavare (OUR Party)
  • Fred Fono (People’s Congress Party)
  • Danny Philip (Rural Development Party, RDP-SI)
  • Gordon Darcy Lilo (SI Party for Rural Advancement, SIPRA)
  • Possibly Matthew Wale or Steve Abana from the Democratic Party (SIDP)
  • Possibly Allan Kemakeza from the People’s Alliance Party (PAP)

Political Parties – the list

  1. People’s Alliance Party (PAP), est. 1979, led by James Mekab (president) and Allan Kemakeza (party spokesperson)
  2. Association of Independent Members (AIM), est. c.2001, Snyder Rini, Tommy Chan (president)
  3. Ownership, Unity and Responsibility (OUR) party, founded in 2010 by former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare with 7-8 other outgoing MPs
  4. Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP), est. 2006, led by Matthew Wale and Steve Abana
  5. Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement (SIPRA), est. 2006, led by Gordon Darcy Lilo and Job Dudley Tausinga
  6. Reform and Democratic Party of Solomon Islands (RDP-SI), founded in 2010 by former MP and minister Danny Philip
  7. Liberal Party, est. 1988, led by Dr Derek Sikua, or possibly Richard Ulufa’alu (leadership in dispute)
  8. Nasnol Pati, est. c.1997, led by Francis Billy Hilly
  9. Solomon Islands People’s Congress Party, founded in 2010 by outgoing Deputy PM, Fred Fono.
  10. Rural and Urban Political Party (RUPP), co-founded in 2010 by outgoing MPs Samuel Manetoali (party president) and Trevor Olavae
  11. People’s Federation
    Party (PFP), founded in 2010 by former foreign affairs officer Rudolf Henry Dorah (secretary general) and outgoing MP Clay Forau Soalaoi (chair)
  12. Solomon Islands United Party (SIUP), now led by interim president Joel Konofilia
  13. Direct Development Party, founded in 2010 by former SICHE Director, Dick Ha’amori, and journalist and former MP, Alfred Sasako
  14. New Nations Solomon Islands Party (NNSIP), founded in 2010 by businessman Belani Tekulu
  15. Rural Congress People’s Party, founded in 2010 by Rev. Milton Talasasa
  16. Autonomous Solomon Islanders Party (ASIP), co-founded in 2010 by former politicians Jackson Sunaone and Denis Lulei
  17. Twelve Pillars to Peace and Prosperity Party (TP4), founded in 2010 by Delmah Nori (interim president)
  18. People’s Power Action Party, founded in 2010 by Robert Wales Feratelia, former Honiara Lord Mayor
  19. Christian Progressive Party (CPP)

Details on each party are set out below …

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 election – Western

July 23, 2010

There are 73 candidates contesting the 9 Western Province seats, substantially up from the 49 contestants in 2006. Several seats are much more heavily contested: Gizo/Kolombangara (14 candidates, up from 6 in 2006), Marovo (12 candidates, up from 7) and Vona Vona/West New Georgia (12 candidates, up from 7). The remainder have not changed significantly.

The tables below provide some statistics on the Western seats in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published on the TARD blogsite and in Excel on the Tutuvatu site). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Table 1: Election statistics, Western province

Election Candidates Incumbents returned Voters (reg’d) Votes cast Voter turn-out
2010

73

2006

49

8/9

43,829

27,996

63.9%

2001

52

3/9

?

27,537

?

1997

?

?

?

?

?

1993

44

6/9

25,186

15,301

60.8%

Table 2: Candidates per constituency, Western province

Constituency

2010

2006

2001

1997

1993

Gizo/Kolombangara

14

6

9

?

7

Marovo

12

7

4

?

2

North New Georgia

3

1

2

?

1

North Vella la Vella

6

6

6

?

3

Ranongga/Simbo

5

6

4

?

5

Shortland Islands

7

7

10

?

3

South New Georgia/Rendova

8

5

4

?

6

South Vella la Vella

6

4

4

?

7

Vona Vona/West New Georgia

12

7

9

?

10

Total

73

49

52

?

44

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 election – Guadalcanal

July 23, 2010

There are 80 candidates contesting the 8 Guadalcanal seats, up a little from the 71 contestants in 2006. Several seats are much more heavily contested: North Guadalcanal (13 candidates, up from 8 in 2006), East Guadalcanal (11 candidates, up from 6) and North West Guadalcanal (14 candidates, up from 10). Some are much less so: Central Guadalcanal (2 candidates, down from 7) and North East Guadalcanal (6 candidates, down from 10).

The tables below provide some statistics on the Guadalcanal seats in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published in Excel on the Tutuvatu site and the TARD blogsite). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Table 1: Election statistics, Guadalcanal province

Election Candidates Incumbents returned Voters (reg’d) Votes cast Voter turn-out
2010

80

2006

71

4/8

41,879

28,401

67.8%

2001

44

2/8

?

25,648

?

1997

?

?

?

?

?

1993

53

5/8

28,089

18,917

67.3%

Table 2: Candidates per constituency, Guadalcanal province

Constituency

2010

2006

2001

1997

1993

Central Guadalcanal

2

7

5

?

4

East Central Guadalcanal

11

9

6

?

5

East Guadalcanal

11

6

4

?

6

North East Guadalcanal

6

10

6

?

12

North Guadalcanal

13

8

6

?

5

North West Guadalcanal

14

10

7

?

14

South Guadalcanal

12

13

4

?

2

West Guadalcanal

11

8

6

?

5

Total

80

71

44

?

53

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 election – Ren-Bell

July 20, 2010

There are 8 candidates contesting the seat of Rennell Bellona, unchanged from 2006. The tables below provide some statistics on the seat of Rennell Bellona in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates (source: Electoral Commission, published on the TARD blogsite and in Excel format on the Tutuvatu site).

I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Table 1: Election statistics, Rennell Bellona province

Election Candidates Incumbents returned Voters (reg’d) Votes cast Voter turn-out
2010

8

2006

8

0/1

3,155

1,717

54.4%

2001

7

0/1

?

1,878

?

1997

?

?

?

?

?

1993

3

1/1

2,039

1,201

58.9%

Table 2: Candidates per constituency, Rennell Bellona province

Constituency

2010

2006

2001

1997

1993

Rennell Bellona

8

8

7

?

3

Rennell Bellona

  1. Clive Sunga Tuimaka
  2. Charlie Tango: came 2nd in 2006 with 17.9% of the vote
  3. Seth Gukuna: outgoing Minister and MP(2006-10), won in 2006 with 25.2% of the vote
  4. David Puia Tuhanuku: Deputy Executive Secretary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, former union leader (SINUW), former Director of the Public Service Reform Program, came 3rd in West Honiara in 2006 with 10.6% of the vote
  5. Nollan Teika (SIPRA)
  6. Jay P.S. Kabei: current president of the Solomon Islands Rugby Federation
  7. Tmothy Johnston (SIDP): current Premier, Rennell Bellona Province
  8. Collin S. Tesuatai

2010 election – Malaita

July 20, 2010

There are 142 candidates contesting the 14 Malaita seats, a similar number to the 140 contestants in 2006. Several seats are much more heavily contested: Baegu/Asifola (14 candidates, up from 6 in 2006), Central Kwara’ae (11 candidates, up from 2) and Small Malaita (15 candidates, up from 11). Some are much less so: Aoke/Langa Langa (6 candidates, down from 13), Fataleka (9 candidates, down from 15) and Lau Mbaelelea (11 candidates, down from 15).

The tables below provide some statistics on the Malaita seats in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published in Excel format on the Tutuvatu site and also on the TARD blog site). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Table 1: Election statistics, Malaita province

Election Candidates Incumbents returned Voters (reg’d) Votes cast Voter turn-out
2010

141

2006

140

5/14

105,605

63,478

60.1%

2001

113

6/14

?

63,815

?

1997

?

?

?

?

?

1993

103

8/13

51,594

31,402

60.9%

Table 2: Candidates per constituency, Malaita province

Constituency

2010

2006

2001

1997

1993

Aoke/Langa Langa

6

13

4

?

4

Baegu/Asifola

14

6

6

?

14

Central Kwara’ae

11

2

5

?

8

East Are Are

8

10

8

?

4

East Kwaio

4

7

4

?

5

East Malaita

7

7

10

?

n/a

Fataleka

9

15

10

?

9

Lau Mbaelelea

11

15

12

?

14

Malaita Outer Islands

7

8

8

?

6

North Malaita

9

9

10

?

15

Small Malaita

15

11

9

?

5

West Are Are

10

9

7

?

5

West Kwaio

13

10

6

?

6

West Kwara’ae

18

18

14

?

8

Total

142

140

113

?

103

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 election – Makira

July 16, 2010

There are 59 candidates contesting the four Makira seats, a big increase on the 47 contestants in 2006. The biggest increase is in East Makira (14, up from 9 in 2006), which has been vacated by retiring MP, David Sitai. The number of contestants has also increased in both Central Makira (16, up from 12) and Ulawa/Ugi (14, up from 11). West Makira was the most heavily contested in 2006 and it remains heavily contested in 2010 – once again, 15 candidates will be fighting it out.

The tables below provide some statistics on the Makira seats in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published on the Toabaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) blog). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Table 1: Election statistics, Makira province

Election Candidates Incumbents returned Voters (reg’d) Votes cast Voter turn-out
2010

59

2006

47

3/4

20,778

14,539

70.0%

2001

26

2/4

?

13,548

?

1997

?

?

?

?

?

1993

17

3/4

11,206

6,055

54.0%

Table 2: Candidates per constituency, Makira province

Constituency

2010

2006

2001

1997

1993

Central Makira

16

12

10

?

8

East Makira

14

9

8

?

6

Ulawa/Ugi

14

11

3

?

2

West Makira

15

15

5

?

1

Total

59

47

26

?

17

Central Makira

There are 16 candidates, compared to 12 in 2006, 10 in 2001 and 8 in 1993.

  1. Romano Tarohania (PCP)
  2. Vkey Mansugu (possibly SIPRA)
  3. Nestor Ghiro
  4. Rev’d Joseph Tamatara (or Tamuatara, RDP-SI)
  5. Henry Hagawusia
  6. Hypolite Taremae
  7. Paul Watoto
  8. Jack Faga: former magistrate
  9. Nesta Marahora (possibly SIPRA): current member of the Makira Ulawa provincial assembly (ward 10)
  10. Fox Qwaina: former Principal, Waimapuru National High School
  11. Alfred Wote
  12. Fredson Fenua: came 5th out of 12 in 2006 with 9.1% of the vote
  13. Aaron Koroa
  14. Bernard Ghiro (OUR party): outgoing MP (2001-10), won in 2006 with 27.3% of the vote
  15. Thomas Nukuafi
  16. Edmund Mehare

Ulawa/Ugi

There are 14 candidates, compared to 11 in 2006, 3 in 2001 and 2 in 1993.

  1. Carl Warren Beloen: owner of dreamtime shipping & club, Australian descent
  2. Ashley Rohorua
  3. Nathaniel Waena (Nasnol Pati): former Governor General (2004-09), former MP (1987-2004)
  4. Fox Sumaheniau
  5. Augustine Waetara
  6. Noel Mamau
  7. Meffrey (or Miefery) Awao: came 5th out of 11 in 2006 with 8.1% of the vote
  8. Michael Ramsi Poki (OUR party)
  9. Henry Marau (RDP-SI)
  10. James Tora: outgoing Minister for Police and MP (2004-2010), won in 2006 with 22.4% of the vote
  11. Wilfred Robertson Natei: former administration manager, Our Telekom
  12. Joseph Hary Maka’a
  13. Rafael Oli
  14. Peter Titiulu (SIPRA)

West Makira

There are 15 candidates, compared to 15 in 2006, 5 in 2001 and 1 (Solomon Mamaloni) in 1993.

  1. Golden Kiloko (RDP-SI)
  2. Edmond Dangi
  3. Nelson Nausi
  4. Jimmy Hanson Riunga
  5. Alick Dangi
  6. Daniel Dautaha
  7. Dick Ha’amori (leader, Direct Development Party): former Director of SICHE, came 5th out of 15 in 2006 with 7.7% of the vote
  8. James Morea
  9. Jackson Sunaone (co-founder, ASIP): former MP (2000-01), brother of former Prime Minister the late Solomon Mamaloni, came 2nd in 2006 with 19.1% of the vote
  10. Peter Trena Rarahabura (SIPRA)
  11. Jackson Raeri
  12. John Mepuke Taaru
  13. Japhet Waipora (OUR party): outgoing MP (2006-10, also previously member for Central Makira, 1997-2001), won in 2006 with 19.7% of the vote
  14. Richard Taro
  15. Paul Marita

East Makira

There are 14 candidates, compared to 9 in 2006, 8 in 2001 and 6 in 1993. This seat is vacant following the retirement of long-serving MP, David Sitai.

  1. Warren Tereqoroa: came 6th out of 9 in 2006 with 6.6% of the vote
  2. Martin Karani: former chief electoral officer, former member (North Star Harbour ward) and Minister of the Makira-Ulawa Provincial Assembly, charged with corruption in 2005 (RNZI, 27/11/05) for granting a government contract to his own shipping company, found guilty and sentenced to eight months jail by the Honiara Magistrates Court in March 2009 (Solomon Times, 03/09),  subsequently forfeited his provincial seat
  3. Henry Siake Kuata
  4. Otto Mafuara Kuper: former accountant, Solomon Airlines
  5. Nathaniel Peter Wakaa
  6. Stevenson Piringisau: former Premier, Makira-Ulawa Province
  7. Daniel Wagatora
  8. Stanley Stafford Siapu (RUPP): came 8th out of 9 in 2006 with 4.1% of the vote
  9. Henry Jack Kuata Sitai (RDP-SI)
  10. Thomas Bea
  11. Fred Pagewa Fanua: came 3rd in 2006 with 11.8% of the vote (and 2nd in 2001)
  12. Nicholas K Gapiara
  13. Alfred Ghiro (SIDP): came 2nd in 2006 with 23.1% of the vote
  14. John Mamate (or Mamafe, OUR party)

2010 election – Choiseul

July 15, 2010

There are 23 candidates contesting the three Choiseul seats, up from 17 in 2006. This is largely due to a big increase in contestants in South Choiseul (13, up from 5 in 2006). This is probably a response to the decision by outgoing MP for South Choiseul, Rev. Leslie Boseto, not to seek a fourth term in office (he has held the seat from 1997-2010).

The tables below provide some statistics on the Choiseul seats in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published on the Toabaita Authority Research and Development (TARD) blog). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Table 1: Election statistics, Choiseul province

Election Candidates Incumbents returned Voters (reg’d) Votes cast Voter turn-out
2010

23

2006

17

3/3

15,707

9,566

60.9%

2001

14

2/3

?

9,394

?

1997

?

?

?

?

?

1993

15

2/3

6,657

5,184

77.9%

Table 2: Candidates per constituency, Choiseul province

Constituency

2010

2006

2001

1997

1993

East Choiseul

4

5

4

?

4

North West Choiseul

6

7

6

?

7

South Choiseul

13

5

4

?

4

Total

23

17

14

?

15

East Choiseul

There are 4 candidates, compared to 5 in 2006 and 4 in 2001 and 1993.

  1. Hence Vaekesa: former Director of Trade Division, Department of Commerce
  2. Moses Kurebose Biliki: former Director of Environment and Conservation Division, Department of Environment, came 4th out of 5 in 2006 with 15.0% of the vote
  3. Shepard Lapo: former senior police officer, more recently he was a security officer for UNDP
  4. Manasseh Sogavare (OUR party)*: outgoing MP (1997-2010), former PM (2000-01, 2006-07), won the 2006 election with 36.2% of the vote

North West Choiseul

There are 6 candidates, compared to 7 in 2006, 6 in 2001 and 7 in 1993.

  1. Francis Qalokamake (OUR party): contested East Choiseul in 2006 and came 2nd with 27.3% of the vote
  2. Connelly Sadakabatu
  3. Sylvia Nowak Anderson
  4. Ralph Billy Takubala
  5. Clement Pikabatu Kengava*: outgoing MP (2001-06), won the 2006 election with 31.8% of the vote
  6. Alpha Kimata (SIDP): former MP (1993-2001) and former Finance Minister, came 4th out of 7 in 2006 with 14.3% of the vote

South Choiseul

There are 13 candidates, compared to 5 in 2006 and 4 in 2001 and 1993. At the age of 77, the outgoing MP, Rev. Leslie Boseto, decided to retire after serving three terms in office.

  1. Elijah Doro Muala (SIPRA)
  2. Walter Katovai
  3. Alick Sogati
  4. Atkin Vilaka
  5. Collish Leketo Tutua
  6. Noah Zala
  7. Michael Collin Pitakaka
  8. Brandley Pitanoe
  9. Jackson Kiloe: Premier, Choiseul Province
  10. Cromwell Qopoto: geologist, former Director of Mines in the Department of Mines and Energy
  11. Robertson Erere Qalokale: former Ministry of Finance official, came 3rd in the 2006 election with 19.1% of the vote, (also see/listen to an interview with Qalokale on Radio Australia, 23/03/10)
  12. Rev’d Caleb Kotali: former MP (1989-97)
  13. Wilson Pita

2010 election – Central

July 15, 2010

There are 18 candidates contesting the two Central seats, a small decrease from the 21 contestants in 2006. Ngella remains the more hotly contested seat (12 candidates, down from 13 in 2006) whilst the incumbent and former PM Allan Kemakeza faces just five opponents (there were 8 candidates in 2006).

The tables below provide some statistics on the Central seats in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published on the Toabaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) blog). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 election – Temotu

July 15, 2010

There are 40 candidates contesting the three Temotu seats, a big increase from the 22 contestants in 2006. Both Temotu Pele (13 candidates, up from 6 in 2006) and Temotu Vatud (19 candidates, up from 8 in 2006) are very heavily contested. By contrast, veteran politician Patteson Oti will once again face 7 other contestants in Temotu Nende as he attempts to win his fourth term in parliament.

The tables below provide some statistics on the Temotu seats in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published on the Toabaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) blog). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 election – Isabel

July 15, 2010

There are 27 candidates contesting the three Isabel seats in 2010, down from the 34 contestants in 2006. The fall in candidates is entirely due to Gao/Bugotu, which was very hotly contested in 2006 but is less so this time around (7 candidates, down from 15 in 2006). The two other constituencies – Hograno/Kia/Havulei and Maringe/Kokota – have roughly the same number of candidates as the previous election.

The two tables below provide some statistics on the Isabel seats in recent elections. Below that is a list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published in the Island Sun, 12 July, also published on the Toabaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) blog). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 election – Honiara

July 14, 2010

There are 41 candidates contesting the three Honiara seats in 2010, almost equalling the 43 contestants in 2006 (Solomon Star, 9 July). This time around, however, it is Central Honiara that is very hotly contested (23 candidates, up from 13 in 2006) whilst East Honiara has 12 candidates (down from 20) and West Honiara has just 6 (down from 10).

The table below provides some statistics on the Honiara seats in recent elections. Below that is a partial list of the candidates in each constituency (source: Electoral Commission, published in the Island Sun, 12 July, also published on the Toabaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) blog). I’ve also included any information I’ve been able to find about the candidates’ party affiliations, previous electoral performance, work experience and qualifications. (Note: I will keep updating this post until the election, so comments and corrections are particularly welcome.)

Read the rest of this entry »

2010 election – female candidates

July 14, 2010

At least 22 women will contest the August election. There were 26 female candidates in 2006 – a record number, although none were successful in winning a seat (see my earlier post on women in Solomons politics.)

Here is the list of female candidates for the upcoming election along with a few details about their careers, qualifications and party affiliations. The original sources for this list were two reports in the Solomon Star on 8 July (which claims to list 18 female candidates but in fact only lists 16) and 12 July.

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