An anonymous friend in Honiara writes:
New Solomons PM Snyder Rini resigned this morning after two more members of his coalition crossed the floor. Two others had switched sides last week after the riots so even with two opposition members in gaol (on charges of inciting the riots), they had the numbers. Cars are hooning up and down the main road of Honiara tooting their horns in celebration and waving crowds have just formed on the streets (approx 11am) but as yet there are no signs of violence. (RAMSI and local police are very much in evidence and three helicopters are circling overhead.)
At 8 days, this makes the Rini government the shortest since Solomons got independence in 1978. However, this is by no means the first government to be undone mid-term. Outgoing PM, Sir Allan Kemakeza, was the first PM to serve a full 4-year term of government.
A new PM will probably be chosen tomorrow but it is no certainty that the “head” of the opposition, Job Tausinga, will get it. This is because the opposition coalition includes three former PMs, including one defector from the government (who must have been offered something to induce him to change sides as he was otherwise going to be Minister of Commerce in the Rini government). Leading candidates are Tausinga (the longest-serving member of Parliament) and Sogavare (defector and former PM).
The only certainty at the moment is that Solomons is set for a period of unstable government as rival groups (and egos) jostle for position.