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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 29) – Thirteen spouses of Solomon Islands Government ministers and backbenchers leave Honiara today for Taiwan in a first ever "madams official visit" to the Republic of China.

The trip comes amid allegations that the madams’ allowances for the two weeks trip to Taiwan will be funded by the Government.

The 13 spouses are wives of all Members of Parliament who are supporting the government with none from the Opposition.

Emmy Sogavare, the wife of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, will lead the mothers on the historic trip.

A spokesperson for the Taiwanese Government confirmed that the mothers will leave on Monday (today).

The spokesperson stated that the Taiwanese Government is paying for their return tickets, food and accommodation in Taiwan and their allowances.

The mothers will be visiting several places in Taiwan among them is to observe how to grow orchid.

Amongst them is to observe orchid cultivation.

"They will be learning how to grow orchid," the spokesperson said.

A spokesman for the Taiwanese Government said the spouses will also be visiting several other places as well.

It is the first time that a delegation of spouses of Members of Parliament will be going on an overseas trip.

Those who will make the trip are: Mrs. Sogavare, Mrs. Alice Kaua, Mrs. Nelly Zama, Mrs. Georgina Forau Soalaoi, Mrs. Ruth Aratabu Bentley, Mrs. Anna Nuaisi, Mrs. Janet Sofu, Mrs. Rose Leni, Mrs. Elizabeth Waipora, Mrs. Seau Ne’e, Mrs. Rose Selina Tora, Mrs. Lovinter Lonah Tom and Mrs. Davina David Dausabea.

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