PHILIP FORMING NEW SOLOMONS GOVERNMENT

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Ministerial appointments to be made in days

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Aug. 25, 2010) - The newly-elected Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip says it will be a few days before he makes ministerial appointments.

Immediately after his swearing-in at Government House, Mr. Philip commended the public for the peaceful behavior around the Prime Ministerial election.

He acknowledged both the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, forces for ensuring there was no repeat of the violence that marred the 2006 Prime Ministerial election.

[PIR editor’s note: Solomon Star quotes the newly elected Prime Minister who says that formation of the government will be his first priority. "A policy document will be made available in 30 days," Philip said. "We must give back to the people what belongs to them so constitutional reform will be a priority." Meanwhile, Radio Australia quotes Professor Clive Moore of the University of Queensland as saying Philip’s coalition is fragile and might not provide firm footing for the new leader. ‘What he’s managed to do is cobble together a Coalition that calls themselves parties, but in fact they are fairly loose groups - five or six groupings of the politicians. I am a little surprised that he has managed to do it, because the other contender Steve Abana had about 14 seats in the parliament of 50. Obviously this loose grouping has got strong enough, but it will be unstable because most Solomon’s political parties are inclined to be a little unstable with movement, but I don't think this is a recipe for a very stable government."]

The 57-year old is the Solomons’ ninth prime minister in a role that has now changed 14 times since the country gained independence from Britain in 1978.

In the past 15 years, he has also twice served as foreign minister.

Mr. Philip says the appointment process is a difficult task given the different political party ideologies in the formed coalition group.

He has indicated it could be months before his coalition releases its policy framework.

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