Cabinet of the Solomon Islands

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The Cabinet of Solomon Islands is the cabinet (executive branch) of the government of Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands has a Westminster system of government.

Current Cabinet[edit]

Incumbent Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo lost his seat in the November 2014 general election, and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Manasseh Sogavare on 9 December. It was Sogavare's third (non-consecutive) term as Prime Minister. He appointed most of his Cabinet on 15 December, adding his Finance and Police Ministers on 23 December. Bodo Dettke's appointment as Minister for Forestry was immediately criticised by the Opposition as a possible conflict of interest, due to his "interests in the logging industry". Mathew Wale was expected to receive the Finance portfolio, and announced to his constituents that he would, leading to further concern from the Opposition as Wale was at that time under investigation on allegations of fraud and bribery. The Finance ministry was entrusted to Snyder Rini, with Wale receiving no portfolio. The Opposition also pointed out that Police and National Security Minister Peter Shanel Agovaka had been convicted and gaoled for nine months in 2008 for assault and possession of an illegal weapon, and that he was due back in court soon to face another charge of assault. Shadow Police Minister Chris Laore described Agovaka's appointment as "ridiculous" and an example of poor judgement on Sogavare's part.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Cabinet on 23 December 2014

Portfolio Minister Political party Constituency
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare none East Choiseul
Deputy Prime Minister;
Minister for Home Affairs
Douglas Ete none East Honiara
Minister for Finance and Treasury Snyder Rini none Marovo
Minister for Public Service John Dean Kuku none North New Georgia
Minister for National Development Planning and Aid Coordination Danny Philip United Democratic Party South New Georgia
Minister for Justice and Legal Affairs Ishmael Avui United Democratic Party East-Central Guadalcanal
Minister for Education and Human Resources Derek Sikua none North-East Guadalcanal
Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Tautai Agikimua Kaitu’u United Democratic Party Rennel-Bellona
Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Milner Tozaka People's Alliance Party South Vella-la-Vella
Minister for Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration William Bradford Marau People's Alliance Party Ugi-Ulawa
Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services Peter Shanel Agovaka none Central Guadalcanal
Minister for Culture and Tourism Bartholomew Parapolo none Nggella
Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Augustine Auga none Lau Mbaelelea
Minister for Lands, Housing and Survey Andrew Manepora’a Kadere Party East 'Are'are
Minister for Infrastructure Development Festus Sofu Party for Rural Advancement East Kwaio
Minister for Communication and Aviation Commins Mewa none Temotu Nende
Minister for Forestry and Research Bodu Dettke none North-West Guadalcanal
Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources John Maneniaru none West 'Are'are
Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Samson Maneka United Democratic Party North Guadalcanal
Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening Dudley Kopu none Temotu Pele
Minister for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Jimson Fiau Tanangada United Democratic Party Gizo-Kolombangara
Minister for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace David Day Pacha none South Guadalcanal
Minister for Rural Development Freda Tuki Soriacomua none Temotu Vatud
Minister for the Environment, Climate Change,
Disaster Management, Conservation and Meteorology
Samuel Manetoali none Gao-Bugotu

Previous Cabinets[edit]

Philip Cabinet (2010-2011)[edit]

Having been elected Prime Minister by Parliament subsequent to the 2010 general election, Danny Philip formed a coalition government,[6]and appointed his Cabinet.[7] On 30 November, Jimmy Lusibaea, Minister of Fisheries, lost his seat in Parliament, and therefore also his position in Cabinet, upon being convicted of assault and grievous bodily harm (for acts committed in 2002), and sentenced to two years and nine months in gaol.[8] On the same day, Prime Minister Danny Philip sacked Bodo Dettke, the Minister of Forestry, due to allegations of misconduct; Dettke had ordered the seizure of a ship's cargo of round logs for allegedly "personal reasons", linked to his own ownership of a logging company. The loss of both ministers brought the government's parliamentary support down to twenty-four MPs, just one ahead of Steve Abana's opposition.[9]

A few days later, however, Dettke was reinstated in Cabinet, and accepted the Ministry of Fisheries left vacant by Lusibaea. A minor reshuffle saw Douglas Ete, Minister for Public Service, take over the Ministry of Forestry, while Stanley Sofu, initially a member of the Opposition, joined the government as Minister for Public Service.[10]

On 20 January 2011, citing dissatisfaction with the Cabinet being "manipulated by one or two people", Bodo Dettke (Minister for Fisheries), Douglas Ete (Minister for Forestry), Martin Sopage (Minister for Lands and Housing) and Mark Kemakeza (Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification) all left the government and formally joined the Opposition. Government backbencher Alfred Ghiro also defected to the Opposition.[11] [12] On 22 January, Stanley Sofu (Minister for Public Service) also resigned from his Cabinet post and rejoined the Opposition, of which he had been a member until the previous month.[13] On 25 January, Police Minister James Tora resigned in turn.[14] The Solomon Times consequently reported: "Tora's resignation means the Opposition now has 25 MPs, while the Government has 23 MPs."[15]

In the face of these resignations, Philip promoted Bradley Tovosia, the Minister for Provincial Government, to the post of Minister for Forestry.[16] In mid-February, certain defectors returned to the government, and others defected to the government from the Opposition, giving Philip a majority once more, and enabling him to fill some Cabinet vacancies. Mark Kemakeza was reappointed to his initial position (Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification), as was James Tora (Minister for Police and Justice). Martin Sopage was appointed Minister for Lands and Housing, while Walter Folotalu was made Minister for Provincial Government.[17] The Ministry for Public Service and the Ministry for Fisheries and Marine Resources, however, remained without a Minister.[18] A few days later, Stanley Sofu rejoined the government, defecting from the Opposition, and was restored to his position as Minister for Public Service.[19] The next day, backbencher Alfred Ghiro also rejoined the government benches, and the Solomon Star reported the government now had the support of 29 MPs, to the Opposition's 19.[20]

In early April, Opposition Leader Steve Abana, who had just been ousted from the opposition's leadership, defected to the government, bringing with him several other members of the opposition (Ricky Houeniopwela, Andrew Hanaria Keniasia, Connelly Sandakabatu and Peter Tom), as well as Leader of the Independent Members Clay Forau Soalaoi. This reportedly brought the number of government MPs up to 42, against just 6 for the Opposition. (Other sources indicated 37 members for the government; a sizeable majority in either case.)[21] [22] [23] [24] A cabinet reshuffle took place on 18 April 2011, with five new ministers sworn in. This involved removing six ministers (Stanley Sofu, Varian Longamei, James Tora, Selwyn Ruimana, Mark Kemakeza and Martin Sopaghe) to make way for the newcomers. Kemakeza was, in any cases, facing charges of corruption and abuse of office.[25] Joseph Onika remained in Cabinet, but was reshuffled from the Ministry of Women to that of Lands. Rick Hou, Andrew Hanaria, Clay Forau, Dickson Mua and Connelly Sandakabatu joined the Cabinet.[26] [27]

In early November 2011, several ministers joined or rejoined the Opposition, ultimately bringing down the government. On 9 November, Clay Forau, Moses Garu and Connelly Sandakabatu returned to the Opposition. The following day, Rick Hou joined them, and the day after that Philip sacked Gordon Darcy Lilo, reportedly for conspiring with the Opposition. Hours later, Philip announced his resignation, as he clearly no longer had the numbers with which to govern. He stayed on as caretaker Prime Minister until Parliament elected a new Prime Minister on 16 November.[28] [29]

The Philip Cabinet was initially shadowed by Opposition Leader Steve Abana's Shadow Cabinet.[30]

Cabinet ministers from 18 April to 9 November 2011.

Portfolio Minister Political party[31] Constituency[32]
Prime Minister Danny Philip Reformed Democratic Party South New Georgia
Deputy Prime Minister;
Minister of Home Affairs
Manasseh Maelanga Democratic Party East Malaita
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Relations Peter Shannel Agovaka OUR Party Central Guadalcanal
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources vacant - -
Minister of Mines, Energy
and Rural Electrification
Moses Garu Democratic Party West Guadalcanal
Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey Joseph Onika Independent East Central Guadalcanal
Minister of Forestry Bradley Tovosia Independent East Guadalcanal
Minister of Infrastructure and Development Jackson Fiulaua Independent Central Kwara'ae
Minister of Health and Medical Services Charles Sigoto Reformed Democratic Party Rannonga/Simbo
Minister of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Dickson Mua OUR Party Savo-Russels
Minister of Tourism and Culture Samuel Manetoali Rural and Urban Political Party Gao/Bogotu
Minister of Provincial Government Walter Folotalu Democratic Party Lau/Mbaelelea
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Commins Mewa Independent Temotu Nende
Minister of Peace, Reconciliation and National Unity Hypolite Taremae Independent Central Makira
Minister of Environment and Conservation John Moffat Fugui Independent Central Honiara
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development Connelly Sadakabatu Independent North-West Choiseul
Minister of Aviation and Communication Andrew Hanaria Keniasina People's Congress Party East 'Are'are
Minister of Public Service Ricky Houeniopwela Democratic Party Small Malaita
Minister of Education and Human Resources Dickson Ha'amori Rural Development Party West Makira
Minister of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration Elijah Doro Muala National Party South Choiseul
Minister of Rural Development and Indigenous Affairs Lionel Alex Independent South Vella la Vella
Minister of Finance and Development Planning Gordon Darcy Lilo Independent Gizo/Kolombangara
Minister of Aid Coordination and Planning Snyder Rini Independent Democratic Party Marovo
Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Clay Forau Soalaoi People's Federation Party Temotu Vatud

Lilo Cabinet (2011-2014)[edit]

On 16 November 2011, Parliament elected Gordon Darcy Lilo, who had been sacked by Philip and now had the support of part of the Opposition as well as of Philip's former majority, as Prime Minister.[33] Lilo appointed part of his Cabinet on 21 November, and announced the full line-up two days later. Manasseh Maelanga notably retained the position of Deputy Prime Minister, as well as the Home Affairs portfolio. There was, overall, very little change, the previous Cabinet being retained almost unaltered. Philip himself, however did not receive a portfolio; it was stated that he preferred to be a backbencher. Ricky Houeniopwela, who had been Minister for Public Service, received Lilo's former Finance portfolio.[34][35][36]

On 7 December, Minister for Civil Aviation Andrew Hanaria (People's Congress Party) lost his seat in Parliament, and thus also his Cabinet portfolio, upon being found by the High Court to have bribed voters in his constituency (East 'Are'are) with cash and material goods before the election.[37] [38] On 8 February 2012, in a minor reshuffle, Walter Folatalu, Minister for Provincial Government, was appointed to the position left vacant by Hanaria. The position of Minister for Provincial Government was given to David Tome (independent), promoted from the backbenches.[39]

On 9 February, Lilo sacked Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Shannel Agovaka (OUR Party), after the latter had, during a meeting with Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov in Fiji, "discussed the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations" between the two countries. Lilo wrote publicly to Shannel and told him he had breached "collective Cabinet responsibility": "As a developing country Solomon Islands should continue to strengthen our ties with traditional partners before pursuing new diplomatic groupings".[40] At the end of the month, Clay Forau Soalaoi was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister.[41] Over the span of several days in late February and early March, there was a broader reshuffle. Minister for Infrastructure Jackson Fiulaua was sacked for what Lilo described as a lack of performance, and replaced by Seth Gukuna, an Opposition frontbencher who joined the government. Minister for Public Service Alfred Ghiro was reshuffled to the position of Minister for Fisheries, exchanging portfolios with Bradley Tovosia. Minister for Provincial Government David Tome was reshuffled to the position of Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, left vacant by Clay Forau. Tome's vacated position was given to 29 year-old Silas Tausinga, who until then had been a member of the Opposition despite belonging to Lilo's Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement.[42] [43] [44]

In October 2012, Snyder Rini (Minister for Development and Aid Coordination) and John Moffat Fugui (Minister for the Environment) resigned (or, by other accounts, were sacked) and joined the Opposition. Prime Minister Lilo reshuffled his Cabinet as a consequence. Connelly Sandakabatu replaced Rini, and Bradley Tovosia replaced Fugui. David Tome, the Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, was reshuffled to the position of Minister for Agriculture vacated by Sandakabatu. Chris Laore (Independent), a backbencher, was promoted to replace Tome. Backbencher Stanley Sofu (Democratic Party) was promoted to replace Tovosia as Minister for Public Service.[45] [46]

Cabinet on 21 November 2011

Portfolio Minister Political party[47] Constituency[48]
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo Independent Gizo/Kolombangara
Deputy Prime Minister;
Minister of Home Affairs
Manasseh Maelanga Democratic Party East Malaita
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Shannel Agovaka OUR Party Central Guadalcanal
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bradley Tovosia Independent East Guadalcanal
Minister of Mines, Energy
and Rural Electrification
Moses Garu Democratic Party West Guadalcanal
Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey Joseph Onika Independent East Central Guadalcanal
Minister of Forestry Dickson Mua OUR Party Savo-Russels
Minister of Infrastructure and Development Jackson Fiulaua Independent Central Kwara'ae
Minister of Health and Medical Services Charles Sigoto Reformed Democratic Party Rannonga/Simbo
Minister of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Peter Tom Independent West Kwaio
Minister of Tourism and Culture Samuel Manetoali Rural and Urban Political Party Gao/Bogotu
Minister of Provincial Government Walter Folotalu Democratic Party Lau/Mbaelelea
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Commins Mewa Independent Temotu Nende
Minister of Peace, Reconciliation and National Unity Hypolite Taremae Independent Central Makira
Minister of Environment and Conservation John Moffat Fugui Independent Central Honiara
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development Connelly Sadakabatu Independent North-West Choiseul
Minister of Civil Aviation Andrew Hanaria Keniasina People's Congress Party East 'Are'are
Minister of Public Service Alfred Ghiro Democratic Party East Makira
Minister of Education and Human Resources Dickson Ha'amori Rural Development Party West Makira
Minister of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration Elijah Doro Muala National Party South Choiseul
Minister of Rural Development Lionel Alex Independent South Vella la Vella
Minister of Finance and Development Planning Ricky Houeniopwela Democratic Party Small Malaita
Minister of Aid Coordination and Planning Snyder Rini Independent Democratic Party Marovo
Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Clay Forau Soalaoi People's Federation Party Temotu Vatud

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PM Names Cabinet Line Up", Solomon Times, 16 December 2014
  2. ^ "Ete appointed DPM", Solomon Times, 16 December 2014
  3. ^ "Gov’t urged to reconsider some ministerial postings", Solomon Times, 17 December 2014
  4. ^ "Solomon Islands ministers sworn in", Radio New Zealand International, 23 December 2014
  5. ^ "Solomons opposition queries Police Minister appt", Radio New Zealand International, 24 December 2014
  6. ^ "Danny Philip elected as Solomon Islands prime minister", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 25 August 2010
  7. ^ "PM Philip name ministers", Island Sun, 27 August 2010
  8. ^ "Solomon Islands faces crisis as minister jailed", The Australian, 1 December 2010
  9. ^ "Solomon Islands govt sacks minister", Sydney Morning Herald, 1 December 2010
  10. ^ "Bodo picks up fisheries", Solomon Star, 9 December 2010
  11. ^ "Ministers walkout", Solomon Star, 21 January 2010
  12. ^ "Four MPs Desert Government", Solomon Times, 21 January 2010
  13. ^ "Two more ministers resign from NCRA", Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, 22 January 2010
  14. ^ "Fifth Solomon Islands minister resigns". Radio New Zealand International. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Opposition Increases Number to 25", 26 January 2011
  16. ^ "New Solomon Islands Forestry Minister", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 21 January 2010
  17. ^ "Government Regains Majority", Solomon Times, 18 February 2011
  18. ^ "Four Ministries Still Without Substantive Ministers", Solomon Times, 4 February 2011
  19. ^ "MP returns to Solomons government". Radio New Zealand International. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Ghiro switched: More opposition join govt", Solomon Star, 22 February 2011
  21. ^ "Solomon Islands' PM stronger after opposition walkouts", ABC Radio Australia, 7 April 2011
  22. ^ "Rick Hou Joins Government", Solomon Times, 7 April 2011
  23. ^ "Govt builds numbers", Solomon Star, 7 April 2011
  24. ^ "Solomons PM confident after getting six more MPs’ support". Radio New Zealand International. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Kemakeza’s trial moved to today", Solomon Star, 25 May 2011
  26. ^ New Cabinet Ministers Sworn in, Solomon Times, 19 April 2011.
  27. ^ "Ministers axed: Replacement sworn in", Solomon Star, 19 April 2011
  28. ^ "Lilo fired", Solomon Star, 11 November 2011
  29. ^ "PM Resigns", Solomon Star, 11 November 2011
  30. ^ "Abana is new Opposition leader", Solomon Star, 1 September 2010
  31. ^ 2010 election data, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation
  32. ^ Official results by constituency, 2010 general election, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation
  33. ^ "New Prime Minister for Solomon Islands", Solomon Times, 16 November 2011
  34. ^ "Abana, Maelanga likely candidates for DPM", Solomon Star, 21 November 2011
  35. ^ "Hou’s vision", Solomon Star, 22 November 2011
  36. ^ "Ten more ministers sworn in", Solomon Star, 23 November 2011
  37. ^ "MP loses seat", Solomon Star, 8 December 2011
  38. ^ "Solomon Islands minister loses seat", Radio New Zealand International, 8 December 2011
  39. ^ "PM reshuffles one, appoints new minister", Solomon Star, 9 February 2012
  40. ^ "PM Sacks Foreign Minister", Solomon Times, 10 February 2012
  41. ^ "New Foreign Minister appointed in Solomon Islands", Radio New Zealand International, 28 February 2012
  42. ^ "Defected Gukuna replaces axed Fiulaua", Solomon Star, 29 February 2012
  43. ^ "Youngest minister prepares for challenge", Solomon Star, 8 March 2012
  44. ^ "Opposition slams Fiulaua’s removal", Solomon Star, 6 March 2012
  45. ^ "Ministers Fired and Replaced", Solomon Times, 23 October 2012
  46. ^ "Nine defect from Solomons government ahead of motion of no confidence", Radio New Zealand International, 24 October 2012
  47. ^ 2010 election data, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation
  48. ^ Official results by constituency, 2010 general election, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation