Caretaker Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela has retained his seat of Small Malaita. He is a member of the Democratic Alliance Party (DAP).

His career in national politics began when he was elected to Parliament as the member for Small Malaita in the August 2010 general election, standing as a member of the Democratic Alliance Party.

Mr Houenipwela returned in 2014, and successfully contested for the position of Prime Minister in November 2017 replacing Manasseh Sogavare in a motion of no confidence. His election to the top job was well-received by the public.

Mr Houenipwela was the Governor of the Central Bank during the country's ethnic troubles, “he was one of the very few public servants to stand up publicly for good governance, resist overwhelming pressure from both militants and members of parliament and reject extortion attempts. He was a shining light in very dark times,” Jenny Howard-Jones wrote in the interpreter.

He had worked for the World Bank in Washington for two years after leaving the Central Bank, before winning his seat of Small Malaita in the 2010 elections. He was Minister of Public Service and then Minister of Finance and Treasury between 2011 and 2014.