NEW SOLOMONS PARTY FORSWEARS VOTE-BUYING

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Independent Democrats say the practice will stop

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Aug. 10, 2010) - A newly emerged political party in Solomon Islands which claims to have the numbers to form a coalition says it will not be engaging in vote buying.

The Independent Democratic Party is led by former Prime Minister Snyder Rini and its president is Honiara Hotel owner Sir Thomas Chan.

The party of independent members claims to have 21 MPs and says it can form a coalition with the Party for Rural Advancement and the People’s Alliance Party.

Allegations of vote-buying led to rioting in Honiara when Snyder Rini was elected Prime Minister in 2006.

[PIR editor’s note: The Solomon Times reported that there are at least three separate political groups that are to form a coalition for the upcoming government. In addition, it states that the Independent Democratic Party will have in total the strength of 42 MPs. See story.]

But the party’s secretary Leonard Kaitu’u says they won’t be doing that this time around.

"We have not done that any time yet and I think this time we are not going to do that now. We have the money to use. We are still waiting for people to be honest and be grown up people."

Leonard Kaitu’u says he does not know if Mr. Rini would lead the coalition they’re trying to form, and they will release the names of their MPs once all the election results come through.

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