SOGAVARE SLOW TO CALL SOLOMONS PARLIAMENT

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 19) - Lawyers acting for the Opposition yesterday urged Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to convene parliament, saying he no longer has the number to govern.

At the same time the Opposition told Sogavare that "the game is over for him."

Mr Sogavare on Wednesday declared the "game is over", claiming he now has the majority to rule.

The claims and counter-claims come amidst growing pressure for Mr Sogavare to step down.

The Opposition say they are tired of the media speculation and want a showdown with Mr Sogavare in parliament.

A letter served on Mr Sogavare by Opposition lawyers warned the matter could end up in court if the Prime Minister refused to call parliament.

Defected minister Steve Abana said their legal counsels have written to the PM urging him to advice the Speaker of Parliament to convene parliament immediately.

The copy of the letter is also served on Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena.

Mr Abana said the Opposition camp remains strong and committed to achieving its goal to replace the Prime Minister.

Former Finance minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said his group remains united and has the upper hand with 25 members.

And he urged the public to remain calm as they seek a way-out of the crisis.

A Government spokesman said they also remain solid and are hopeful of more defections over the next few days.

He cited the defection of Sir Allan Kemakeza as a major coup.

But Sir Allan reportedly denied joining the government, saying he is not taking part in the political game because his case is before the court.

The Opposition said any moves by Sir Allan to defect did not mean anything to them because his political future is in doubt.

Meanwhile, the Opposition said it believes Governor General still has the mandate to call parliament using his reserve power.

They said the reserve power could only be executed when special circumstances arise like what’s been experienced now.

They believe that the Governor General should call parliament now so that the current political stalemate is resolved.

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