Thursday, 7 April 2011 8:11 AM

Rick Hou Joins Government

Former Solomon Islands Central Bank Governor and the current Member of Parliament for Small Malaita, Rick Hou, is one of six Opposition MPs that have joined the Danny Philip led government.

Reasons as to why they have defected remains unclear, although sources say that there are "some serious disagreements with some senior Opposition MPs."

Prime Minister Danny Phillip welcomed the six MPs at his office late yesterday afternoon, telling them that as national leaders they are entitled to make their own decisions, "but the bottom line is the interest of our country."

Opposition MPs that have crossed the floor include the former leader of opposition and MP for Fataleka, Steve Abana and the former leader of the official Independent group in parliament and MP for Temotu Vatud, Clay Forau Soalaoi.

Other MPs are East Are Are MP Andrew Hanaria Keniasia, MP for North West Choiseul Connelly Sandakabatu and MP for West Kwaio Peter Tom.

The recent defections have given the Danny Philip led government a clear majority of 42 with the Opposition Group at 6. The two newly sworn in MPs are also said to be joining the government.

It is understood that some will take up government portfolios, while others are tipped to head statutory bodies of the government.

The planned motion of no confidence by the Opposition Leader, Dr Derek Sikua, has now been dealt a severe blow. It is still unclear as to whether the motion will still go ahead.