Wednesday, 12 December 2007 6:24 PM

Solomon Islands Prepares for Political Showdown

The region is focusing its attention on Honiara as the Pacific island nation prepares to end a three-week political standoff between the Government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the parliamentary opposition.

The last straw in the political crisis, using the judiciary, came this morning when the High Court ruled in favour of the Governor General's Proclamation for parliament to meet tomorrow to vote on a no confidence motion against Prime Minister Sogavare.

Mr. Sogavare used the court in a last ditch attempt to block tomorrow's meeting with a team of high-powered lawyers led by controversial Attorney General and constitutional expert, Julian Moti, but has failed.

Meanwhile, the man holding the balance of power in the number-game, former Prime Minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, who remained neutral during the month-long power struggle, has made public his allegiance.

Sir Allan hosted Opposition MPs overnight at his Sunset Lodge Resort on Savo as lobbying intensified with an alleged SBD$300,000 now in circulation from Government for any last minute defection by Opposition MPs.

With regards to law and order, and to avoid a repeat of the April 18 riot that erupted from the parliament house last year, the Solomon Islands Police Force and the RAMSI Police and military have stepped up patrol and surveillance in Honiara.

Parliament will be out of bound to the public during tomorrow's meeting, except for members of the media and local and overseas dignitaries.