Some government ministers who took loans from a private businessman have been given an ultimatum to pay up their loans or join the business person's new political party. The new political party, Solomons National Alliance Party (SNAP), has been formed to compete in the upcoming general elections in 2010.It is believed that a 'recruitment drive' of sorts is currently underway, and sitting members, particularly those in government, are targeted. Already at least 18 members of the Sikua government have joined SNAP. Political pundits are saying that SNAP is being taken seriously since it is said to have the backing of wealthy Honiara businessman, Bobo Dettke.
According to a story carried by the National Express early this week, a loan scheme was said to have been set up by SNAP. The loan scheme involved around SBD$850-thousand dollars and ministers involved are said to have individually borrowed SBD$50-thousand dollars on the understanding that they will re-pay the money once the RCDF is paid. Sources say the ministers defaulted on repaying their loans because the RCDF grant for this year 2008 has been exhausted. SNAP is said to be pressurizing these members to re-pay the money.
Dr Sikua is said to be furious with those members in government that have reportedly joined or loaned money from SNAP. Despite reassurance from Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua, members of the public are concerned that the current political wrangling may become messy.
Opposition Leader Manasseh Sogavare is said to be watching the latest political twist closely, and has stated in the media that he may be "forced to move a motion to dissolve the current house," because of such despicable behaivour by members of parliament.
The motive of SNAP is unclear at this stage. Some say they are part of an elaborate plan to topple the Sikua government, although sources close to the SNAP leadership have denied this, stating that they "just want their money re-paid."