Update (25/07/10): I now have a complete list of parties contesting the 2010 election here.
One certainty of the pre-election period in Solomons is that old parties will dust off their slogans and new parties will mushroom. By my count, five new parties have already been established this year, at a rate of almost one per week!
- The Ownership, Unity and Responsibility (OUR) party, co-founded by former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and 7-8 other MPs from the Grand Coalition for Change Government (GCCG). This is at least the third party founded by Mr Sogavare following the People’s Progressive Party (established prior to the 2001 election) and the Social Credit (SoCred) Party (established prior to the 2006 election).
- The Autonomous Solomon Islanders Party (ASIP), co-founded by former politicians Jackson Sunaone (member for West Makira, 2000-01, elected at a by election held following the death of Solomon Mamaloni) and Denis Lulei (member for West Isabel, 1980-89 and for Maringe-Kokota, 1993-97). An earlier report in the Solomon Star (9/12/09) states that the ASIP executive also includes former member for Gao-Bugotu (2001-06) and minister in the Kemakeza government, Basil Manelegua.
- The Peace, Oneness and Prosperity party, founded by Delmah Nori (who unsuccessfully contested Central Honiara in the 2006 election, coming 5th out of 13 candidates)
- The Solomon Islands United Nationalist Party (SUN) party, founded by colourful character and former secretary of Manasseh Sogavare’s SoCred party, Sri Ramon Quitales
- The People’s Power Action Party, founded by Robert Wales Feratelia. Mr Feratelia was previously Honiara Lord Mayor and president of the SI Planned Parenthood Association. He unsuccessfully contested East Honiara in the 2006 election, coming 11th out of 18 candidates, and was the subject of charges (later dropped) relating to the April riots in 2006. He has denied any involvement in the burning and looting of Chinatown.
This is a pretty impressive number considering that there are already seven parties nominally represented in Parliament, according to the Solomons Parliament web site).
To give some perspective, in a 2006 article, Sam Alasia reported that there were 16 parties contesting the 2006 elections, which was itself a big increase from the 10 and 9 in the previous two elections (Alasia 2006, “Rainbows across the mountains: the first post-RAMSI general election, p.122). For what it’s worth, I only counted 13 parties during the 2006 elections but I’ll readily defer to Sam on this one.
And while we’re keeping track, the seven parties listed on the Parliament web site are:
- People’s Alliance Party (PAP, est. 1979)
(prominent members: Allan Kemakeza, Fred Fono)
- Association of Independent Members (AIM, est. c.2001)
(prominent members: Snyder Rini, Tommy Chan)
- Social Credit (SoCred) Party (est. 2006)
(prominent members: Manasseh Sogavare)
- Liberal Party (est. 1988)
(prominent members: late Bart Ulufa’alu, Japhet Waipora, Milner Tozaka)
- Democratic Party (est. 2006)
(prominent members: Matthew Wale, Steve Abana)
- Nasnol Pati (est. c.1997)
(prominent members: Francis Billy Hilly)
- Party for Rural Advancement (est. 2006)
(prominent members: Job Dudley Tausinga, Gordon Darcy Lilo)