Cabinet of the Solomon Islands
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Solomon Islands
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.
Cabinet on 23 December 2014
|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||Stanley Sofu||Party for Rural Advancement||East Kwaio|
|Minister for Communication and Aviation||Commins Mewa||none||Temotu Nende|
|Minister for Forestry and Research||Bodo 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 Soria Comua||none||Temotu Vatud|
|Minister for the Environment, Climate Change,
Disaster Management, Conservation and Meteorology
Mid-May 2015, Prime Minister Sogavare announced a minor reshuffle, switching round the portfolios of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace Minister David Day Pacha and Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Minister Samson Maneka, who were each given the other's position. Sogavare explained this was more in line with their respective areas of expertise.
In August 2015, several portfolios were switched in another reshuffle. It was prompted by criticism of Bodo Dettke having been given the Forestry portfolio, as he had business interests in the logging industry. Sogavare acknowledged this conflict of interests, and reassigned Dettke to the position of minister for Tourism. Previous Tourism minister Bartholomew Parapolo was appointed minister for Forests and Research. During the same reshuffle, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Augustine Auga exchanged portfolios with the Minister for Provincial Government Dudley Kopu, as did Minister for Rural Development Freda Comua with Minister for Youth and Women's Development Jimson Tanangada.
On 18 October 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Ete resigned, claiming that Sogavare intended to dismiss him. The following day, six other ministers also resigned, "citing problems with [Sogavare's] leadership style". They were: Derek Sikua (Education and Human Resources), Bodo Dettke (Culture and Tourism), Augustine Auga (Agriculture and Livestock), Andrew Manepora'a (Lands, Housing and Survey), Commins Mewa (Police, National Security and Correctional Service), and Ishmael Avui (Justice and Legal Affairs).
Days later, Lands Minister Andrew Manepora'a returned to the government and recovered his portfolio. In addition, the five members of the Independent group in Parliament (MPs who are neither members of the government nor of the opposition) joined the government; all but Namson Tran were given Cabinet positions. Manasseh Maelanga was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs; Chris Laore, Minister for Forestry and Research; David Tome, Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening; Elijah Doromuala, Minister for Commerce, Industries, Employment and Immigration; and Jimmy Lusibaea, Minister for Infrastructure Development.
On 4 August 2017, there was another reshuffle. Jimmy Lusibaea was dismissed from the government, and replaced as Minister for Infrastructure Development by Stanley Sofu. Minister for Environment and Conservation Samuel Manetoali was replaced by Augustine Auga, and Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification David Dei Pacha was replaced by Bradley Tovosia. Finance Minister Snyder Rini was downgraded to the Fisheries Ministry, and replaced by John Maneiaru. William Marau was reinstated as Minister for Commerce, while Commerce Minister Elijah Doromuala was appointed Minister for Justice. Lands Minister Moses Garu replaced Sofu as Minister for Police. Minister for Public Service John Dean Kuku was moved to the Ministry of Education, replacing John Moffat Fugui, and being replaced in turn as Public Service Minister by Minister for Health Kaitu'u Tautai Angikimua.
Philip Cabinet (2010-2011)
Having been elected Prime Minister by Parliament subsequent to the 2010 general election, Danny Philip formed a coalition government, and appointed his Cabinet. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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. On 25 January, Police Minister James Tora resigned in turn. The Solomon Times consequently reported: "Tora's resignation means the Opposition now has 25 MPs, while the Government has 23 MPs."
In the face of these resignations, Philip promoted Bradley Tovosia, the Minister for Provincial Government, to the post of Minister for Forestry. 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.
The Ministry for Public Service and the Ministry for Fisheries and Marine Resources remained without a Minister. A few days later, Stanley Sofu rejoined the government, defecting from the Opposition, and was restored to his position as Minister for Public Service. 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.
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.)
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. 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.
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.
Cabinet ministers from 18 April to 9 November 2011.
Lilo Cabinet (2011-2014)
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. 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.
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. 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.
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". At the end of the month, Clay Forau Soalaoi was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister.
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.
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.
Cabinet on 21 November 2011
|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|
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