Archive for April, 2010

Election date: (NOT) 29 July

April 27, 2010

Update (26/05/2010): the Solomon Star reports that PM Sikua told a group of university students in PNG that the election will be held on Wednesday, 4 August. In so doing, I suspect he has accidentally pre-empted the Governor General, who would ordinarily announce the date. Clearly my previous post (below) was incorrect but I’m pretty sure this is because the government changed its mind sometime in the last few weeks.

Original post: The 8th national election in Solomon Islands since independence will be held on Thursday 29 July, according to a report by Alfred Sasako in Monday’s Solomon Star and also according to separate, well-placed gossip gathered by yours truly in Port Moresby. (Dammit, if Sasako hadn’t got there first, I could’ve had my first scoop!)

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2010 election update

April 17, 2010

Fred Fono

Update (25/07/10): my latest election update is available here.

It’s about time for an update on the upcoming election. There have been a few interesting developments including the CNURA coalition agreement, Fred Fono’s new political party and the announcement of two other new parties.

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The Party party

April 17, 2010

Update (25/07/10): I now have a complete list of parties contesting the 2010 election here.

I have been trying to keep track of the proliferation of new political parties (see previous posts here and here). My current tally is that nine new parties have been established and up to six existing parties are likely to re-contest.

This suggests that, once again, there is strong interest in the upcoming election, even before the election date is announced. And the true number of parties may be even higher. A couple of weeks ago, Radio Australia reported that 11 new parties have declared their intention to run in the upcoming elections.

Here is my latest tally …

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Extra seats? Parliament undecided

April 13, 2010

Update (15/04/10): Parliament is undecided no more. Last night, it voted 25-15 in support of a motion to reject the report of the Constitutional Boundaries Commission. Apparently this means that the report’s recommendation will not be voted on at all. Some controversy arose from the decision of the Speaker, Sir Peter Kenilorea, to allow the motion to be moved without the usual three days notice. Kenilorea said he allowed the motion without notice because it was a matter of ‘national urgency’. See reports in the Solomon Star and Solomon Times for more details.

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I previously posted (here and here) on the proposal by the Constituency Boundaries Commission (CBC) to increase the number of seats in Parliament from 50 to 67. A recent report from the Solomon Star (9/04/10) suggests that the vote is still in the balance, largely due to concerns regarding the possible costs involved.

In parliamentary debate today, government ministers Steve Abana and Seth Gukuna both spoke against the proposal (One TV, 13/04/10) however another senior and long-serving member of the government, Job Tausinga, has indicated his support (Solomon Star, 13/04/10).

Presumably, we will know the result soon …

Update (14/04/10): OneTV has quoted Opposition Leader Manasseh Sogavare expressing his opposition to the proposed increase in seats whilst the Solomon Star reports that Chiefs from Central Guadalcanal have added their opposition to the debate. Their objection does not relate to the costs involved; rather, they are concerned about the proposal to split the electorate of Central Guadalcanal into two (a smaller Central Guadalcanal and a new North Guadalcanal).

RIP – Edward Huni’ehu (1956-2010)

April 13, 2010

Edward Huni'ehu

According to a report from OneTV, Hon. Edward Justus Huni’ehu, passed away recently after an extended period of ill health.

Huni’ehu was first elected as the member for East ‘Are ‘Are in a by-election in 1992 following the resignation of Peter Kenilorea. He was re-elected at the 1993 election, chose not to contest in 1997 and then won again in 2001 and 2006. In all, he served as a member of parliament for over 13 years and was thus one of the longest-serving members since independence.

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Women in Solomons politics

April 10, 2010

Earlier today I posted on ‘Being the First: Storis Blong Oloketa Meri Lo Solomon Aelan‘, which tells the stories of 14 trail-blazing women who reached senior positions in the Solomons Islands parliament and public service.

I thought I could also make a small contribution by discussing the participation of women in Solomons politics. All of the data cited below (and some additional tables) are available here.

Update (25/07/10): I have posted a list of women contesting the 2010 election here.

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Being the First: pioneering Solomons women

April 10, 2010

Being the First

I recently received my copy of ‘Being the First: Storis Blong Oloketa Meri Lo Solomon Aelan‘, which tells the stories of 14 trail-blazing women who reached senior positions in the Solomons Islands public service and parliament.

It’s an interesting read and a welcome reminder that, despite the considerable barriers to women’s equal participation in public life in Solomons, there is a small but growing number of women leaders who will hopefully serve as role models for those to come.

In this post, I’ve just picked out a few details from the book that I thought were interesting. I’ve also collated a few facts about Lily Ogatina Poznanski who was omitted from the book but also deserves recognition.

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