Fijian woman becomes Solomon Islands elected Member of Parliament
03rd August, 2012
Solomon Islands – The wife of former rebel leader and government minister, Vika Lusibaea is the newly elected member of Solomon Island’s North Malaitaconstituency. Solomon Star reports that Lusibaea was unofficially declared Thursday night by Returning Officer Louis Wale at the end of counting in the provincial capital, Auki. Governor General Sir Frank Kabui is expected to make the official declaration today.
The newspaper said it was s a landslide victory for the Fijian woman, who polled 2802 votes ahead of the second candidate Fredrick Kwanairara with 901 votes. The other candidates were Senley Filualea, Peter Fairamoa, Daniel Fa’afunua, Joel Moffat Konofilia, Wilfred Baetalua, Felix Abuofa, George Sency, and Ben Fruits O’Bana. Speaking to The Solomon Star last night Government Communications Officer based in Auki Brian Wanga the result was received with mixed reaction. Wanga said a total of 5693 votes were casted at 21 polling stations in three wards within the constituency. And 28 votes were rejected. He said the result was received with mixed reaction from supporters and voters in Auki.
Following the declaration by the returning officer last night, the new MP has started receiving congratulatory messages, especially on the social networking sites. Many through the social network Facebook after congratulated the newly elected MP, who is the second woman MP to be elected into the country’s parliament. Many said it’s good to have a woman MP in parliament. Others said Lusibaea’s win is a victory for women in Solomon Islands.
Mrs Lusibaea who is originally from Fiji has been a tower of support for her husband, Jimmy, looking after their family business while he was in prison and also during his term as government minister. One of the supporters earlier told this paper that a victory by Mrs Lusibaea would see most of the projects and plans for North Malaita outlined by her husband prior to his removal to continue. Result of by-election in another of Malaita’s East Are’Are constituency is expected later today.
The two seats were left vacant after North Malaita’s former MP Jimmy Lusibaea and East Are’Are’s former MP Andrew Hanaria lost their seats. Former Fisheries Minister Jimmy Lusibaea vacated the North Malaita seat two months after elections in August 2010 after the High Court overturned a remission given by the then Minister for Police James Tora and the Parole Board following his two years and nine months sentence on tension related charges.
Former Minister for Communication and Aviation Andrew Hanaria lost the East Are’Are seat last December after he lost an election petition case filed against him by losing candidates who contested the seat during the August 2010 National General Elections. The two were not allowed to re-contest the by-elections under the Electoral Commission law.