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Solomon Islands – political review

Nanau, Gordon (2011) Solomon Islands – political review. Contemporary Pacific, 23 (2). pp. 504-511. ISSN 1043-898X

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The Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement (cnura) government entered 2010 with a focus on the national general elections several months ahead. In the last two or so years that they were in power, the government recorded passing a higher number of legislations than any other government since independence. They also stabilized diplomatic relations with neighboring countries, and the case of a former attorney generalâ�”which was instrumental for the downfall of the government before cnuraâ was brought before relevant authorities. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank have set up offices in Honiara and are working well with the government. The first half of 2010 was occupied with the registration of voters and preparation for the national elections. This review concentrates on events leading up to the national elections, government formation, and some notable developments and events that occurred throughout the year. Just before the dissolution of Parliament in 2010, then Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua attempted to push through what was called the Political Parties Integrity Bill, which was aimed at reducing political instability in governmentâ�”an endemic feature of Solomon Islands politics (ssn, 22 April 2010). Unfortunately (or fortunately), it was defeated because of what Dr Sikua believed to be a move orchestrated by some of his own ministers and backbenchers. This occurred on 24 April, two days before the dissolution of Parliament (ssn, 13 July 2010), and signaled an end to the solidarity of the cnura, which was enthusiastic to enter the national election as a political group. At their meeting on 5 April 2010, the political parties that had been running the cnura government (ie, National Party, Solomon Islands Democratic Party, Solomon Islandsâ�™ Party for Rural Advancement, Liberal Party, Peopleâs Alliance Party, and the Association of Independents) had agreed to sign a preelection coalition agreement that would allow them to regroup after elections (sto, 7 April 2010). They felt that the cnura government under Sikuaâs leadership had achieved a lot and therefore should continue with its good work. The defeat of the Political Parties Integrity Bill ended what could have been a road to political stability in the legislature. Consequently, many more parties emerged to contest the elections, as will be discussed later. While the cnura government was still in caretaker mode, a second mobile service provider in the country established its infrastructure. This became possible after the monopoly over telecommunication services was removed in 2009. The Be-mobile company erected towers and set up an office in the country. It also promised to offer coverage for 25 percent of the population by mid-June 2010. There were concerns earlier that the company seemed like it was not making progress after it had obtained a license to operate. Indeed, the company was fined us$1.5 million for failing to launch its network on time (sto, 30 June 2010). Nevertheless, Be-mobile installed its towers and network, and by the end of August it launched its network with the tagline â mifala long hia naoâ�(we are now here) (sto, 31 Aug 2010). Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip praised Be-mobile, claiming that â�œthe launch of Be-mobileâs network has brought the country to a new threshold of a new partnership and a new beginning for governments, the private sector and other stakeholdersâ (sto, 9 Nov 2010).

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Government, Development and International Affairs
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2011 08:11
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2014 23:19

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