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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 30) - Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s support for Sir Michael Somare’s pre-election [campaign] as Papua New Guinea’s prime minister has been described as uncalled for and an interference in the internal political affairs of the country.

This was the statement of East Are’are Member of Parliament Edward Huniehu yesterday in response to Mr. Sogavare’s statement last weekend in PNG where he pledged his support for the return of Sir Michael, the Solomon Star reported.

Sogavare had told The National while visiting the University of PNG that he wanted Somare to return as the head of the new PNG government because besides his commitment to the country, Somare would also continue to chart the direction for Fiji, Solomons and Vanuatu in his capacity as the chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

However, Mr. Huniehu said Solomons should be prepared to work with the new government to be elected by the people of PNG after the general election and whomever the new prime minister may be.

"We must respect the outcome of the general election in PNG as the majestic voices of the people are expressed at this time," he said. "Sogavare’s position in publicly announcing his support for Somare would create poor working relationships between the two Melanesian neighbors, especially if different political parties win and a new prime minister is elected by Parliament. This would not be in the best interest of building a strong working base within the Melanesian blocks as this type of political strategy would only erode trusts developed over the years."

Huniehu believed that the Julian Moti affair would have a direct effect on the outcome of PNG election and the leadership of the pacific statesman Somare.

He said Sogavare had double-crossed Somare in the Moti affair and Papua New Guineans were now seriously questioning the integrity and leadership principles of Somare.

Moti was released from the Boroko cells, and was secretly flown out to the Solomons last October 10, in a PNG Defence Force plane.

An outcry over this clandestine operation led to a Defence Board of Inquiry to determine who was behind this secret mission.

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