Manasseh Sogavare

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Manasseh Sogavare
Prime Minister of Solomon Islands
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 December 2014
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Frank Kabui
Preceded by Gordon Darcy Lilo
In office
4 May 2006 – 20 December 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Nathaniel Waena
Preceded by Snyder Rini
Succeeded by Derek Sikua
In office
30 June 2000 – 17 December 2001
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General John Lapli
Preceded by Bartholomew Ulufa'alu
Succeeded by Allan Kemakeza
Personal details
Born (1955-01-17) 17 January 1955 (age 59)
Tagibangara, Solomon Islands
Political party Social Credit Party
Spouse(s) Emmy Sogavare
Religion Seventh-day Adventism

Manasseh Damukana Sogavare (born 17 January 1955) was the sixth Prime Minister of Solomon Islands from 2000 to 2001 and again from 2006 to 2007. He has served in the National Parliament as Member for East Choiseul since 1997.[1]

Biography[edit]

Sogavare was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance from February 1994 to October 1996. Prior to his election to Parliament, he served as the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Director of the Central Bank of the Solomon Islands, and Chairman of the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund. He was first elected to the National Parliament from East Choiseul in the 6 August 1997 election.

Under Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, Sogavare became Minister for Finance and Treasury in 1997[1] but was dismissed from that post by Ulufa'alu in mid-July 1998. Sogavare said that he was shocked at the dismissal, as he could see no reason for it and no reason was given, and he demanded an explanation.[2] A few days later, Ulufa'alu said that the decision was motivated by the need for the government to keep the numbers to stay in power.[3] In early August 1998, Sogavare withdrew his support for Ulufa'alu and his government, accusing Ulufa'alu of authoritarian and hypocritical leadership and of emphasizing stability only to protect himself.[4]

Sogavare was chosen as deputy leader of the opposition in late September 1998, with Solomon Mamaloni as leader.[5] Following Mamaloni's death in January 2000, Sogavare was elected as leader of the opposition late in the month. He received the votes of all ten members of the opposition who were present.[6]

He was elected as Prime Minister by parliament on 30 June 2000, with 23 votes in favor and 21 against, after Ulufa'alu was captured by rebels and forced to resign.[7][8] He served as Prime Minister until 17 December 2001. His party won only three seats in the election held on 5 December 2001, but Sogavare was re-elected to his seat in Parliament.[1]

In Parliament, Sogavare was a member of the Bills and Legislation Committee in 2002 and again from 2005 to April 2006.[1]

Sogavare, who previously led the People's Progressive Party, led the Solomon Islands Social Credit Party into a coalition to oust Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza's chosen successor Snyder Rini, but there was much disagreement about who should be its candidate for prime minister. On 18 April 2006, he received 11 of 50 votes to become prime minister, placing him third. He then switched his support to Rini, allowing Rini to become Prime Minister while Sogavare became part of the coalition and was named Minister for Commerce, Industries and Employment.[1]

Following Rini's resignation on 26 April 2006, Sogavare decided to attempt again to become prime minister. This time the opponents of Kemakeza and Rini united behind him, and in 4 May parliamentary vote, he received 28 votes, defeating the government candidate Fred Fono, who received 22 votes. Sogavare was immediately sworn in.[9] His main tasks included organizing the recovery from rioting that took place during Rini's time as Prime Minister.

On 11 October 2006, Sogavare survived a no-confidence vote in parliament; the motion, introduced by Fono, was supported by 17 members of parliament, while 28 voted against it.[10] The no-confidence vote was prompted by deteriorating relations with Australia. Sogavare had expelled the Australian High Commissioner Patrick Cole in September and defended the Solomons' suspended attorney general, Julian Moti, whom Australia wants extradited to face child sex charges there. Moti presently faces charges in the Solomons for illegally entering the country.[11] On 13 October, Sogavare threatened to expel Australia from an assistance mission in the Solomons,[12] and a week later Australian peacekeepers from the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands raided Sogavare's office (when he was not present) looking for evidence related to the Moti case.[13]

On 13 December 2007, Sogavare was defeated in a parliamentary vote of no confidence; the motion against him received 25 votes, with 22 opposed to it. He remained in office in a caretaker capacity until the election of a new prime minister,[14] on 20 December, when opposition candidate Derek Sikua was elected, defeating Patteson Oti who had been Foreign Minister under Sogavare.[15] On the same date, Sogavare became Leader of the Opposition.[1]

In 2010, Sogavare and eight other MPs established the Ownership, Unity and Responsibility Party.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Page on Sogavare at Solomon Islands Parliament website.
  2. ^ "Solomon Islands finance minister "shocked" by dismissal", Radio New Zealand International (nl.newsbank.com), 16 July 1998.
  3. ^ "Solomon Islands premier says need to maintain numbers behind reshuffle", Radio New Zealand International (nl.newsbank.com), 21 July 1998.
  4. ^ "Solomon Islands: Sacked finance minister withdraws support for premier", Radio New Zealand International (nl.newsbank.com), 4 August 1998.
  5. ^ "Solomon Islands: Former premier back as opposition leader", Radio New Zealand International (nl.newsbank.com), 30 September 1998.
  6. ^ "Solomon Islands opposition gets new leader, renames party", Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation radio (nl.newsbank.com), 28 January 2000.
  7. ^ "Solomon Islands lawmakers elect new prime minister", Associated Press (nl.newsbank.com), 30 June 2000.
  8. ^ "Lawmakers elect opposition leader Solomon Islands prime minister", Associated Press, 30 June 2000.
  9. ^ "Solomon Islands prime minister sworn in", Radio Australia (nl.newsbank.com), 5 May 2006.
  10. ^ "Solomons Prime Minister Wins No-Confidence Vote", VOA News, 11 October 2006.
  11. ^ "Sogavare Survives Vote", Special Broadcasting Service (Australia), 12 October 2006.
  12. ^ "Australia-Solomons diplomatic row escalates", Gulfnews.com, 15 October 2006.
  13. ^ Phil Mercer, "Solomon Islands PM offices raided", BBC News, 20 October 2006.
  14. ^ Tom Allard, "Solomon Islands Prime Minister ousted", smh.com.au, 14 December 2007.
  15. ^ "Solomon Islands MPs elect new PM", Xinhua, 20 December 2007.
  16. ^ "New political party launched in Solomon Islands". Radio New Zealand International. 17 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Bartholomew Ulufa'alu
Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands
2000–2001
Succeeded by
Allan Kemakeza
Preceded by
Snyder Rini
Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Derek Sikua
Preceded by
Gordon Darcy Lilo
Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands
2014–present
Incumbent