By ANDREW FANASIA
WITH the appointment of Manasseh Maelanga as the deputy prime minister, OUR Party now controls the affairs of the nation.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced Maelanga as his deputy yesterday.
“What this means is OUR Party now runs and controls the government for the remaining three years and also they might change the name Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA),” insiders said.
As of this week, Our Party has now 32 members, more than enough to run and control the affairs of the government.
After the April elections this year, the DCGA was made of Kadere Party, Democratic Alliance Party (DAP), Solomon Islands People’s First Party (SIPFP) and OUR Party.
Today, Kadere is left with only two members, while DAP has one.
It was during the height of the China/Taiwan debate that Sogavare and OUR Party managed to recruite new members to OUR Party from the coalition partners.
They successfully did that before the decision to cut ties with Taiwan and switch to China was made.
Maelanga was tipped a few days ago to be the new DPM because of his wealth of experience to be second in command entrusted by Sogavare.
He was deputy in two previous governments.
“It’s official,” according to the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Alex Akwai yesterday.
According to Akwai the appointment came after thorough consultations held between Sogavare and members of the Government Caucus and Cabinet.
Akwai said Maelanga accepted the appointment and conveyed his gratitude to the prime minister for having the confidence in him to serve as his deputy.
Maelanga also expressed his commitment to work together with and to support the Prime Minister as his deputy.
Meanwhile, Transparency Solomon Islands has expressed fear about this latest development (read their report on page 7 today).