17th July, 2012
WIFE of former Member of Parliament for North Malaita Jimmy Lusibaea is eyeing to be the second woman to be elected to the National Parliament. VikaLusibaea is the lone woman listed among the male dominated candidates that will be vying for the North Malaita seat when the by-elections kick off in August 1. However, Mrs Lusibaea is claimed to have a high chance of replacing her husband who was declared disqualified to re-contest the elections. Reliable sources told this paper from North Malaita that all the former MP’s voters in the 2010 national elections have raised their hands and are likely to cast their votes for Mrs Lusibaea.
“The people were hoping Mr Lusibaea will re-contest but since he was disqualified they opted to support his wife so that funding support and the good work of the former MP will continue,” the source said. Former MP, Mr Lusibaea was the former fisheries minister in the NCRA government and one of the new comers who won by a landslide victory during the 2010 elections. If his wife Vika wins, she will be the second woman behind Hilda Kari to be ever elected in the male dominated Parliament in the history of this country.
Mrs Kari was the first (and so far only) woman to have been elected Member of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands. She successfully contested the 1989 bye-election for the North East Guadalcanal seat caused by MP Waita Ben Tabusasi vacating his seat to become Speaker. She was re-elected as MP for East Central Guadalcanal in the 1994 general election and again in 1997, thus serving until 2001. She served for a time as Minister of forest, conservation and the environment, reportedly from 1993 to 2001 and also as Minister for women, youth and sports during her tenure. She stood unsuccessfully in the 2010 general election for the seat of North East Guadalcanal.
Reacting to the fact that no women had been elected, she described the overall result as “a real slap on the face for women in Solomon Islands” and was particularly critical of women voters who, in her view, displayed a lack of “trust” in women candidates.