The government is closely following the political situation in the Solomon Islands as the Pacific ally prepares to vote for a prime minister in an election that could determine the future of ties between the two nations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and its embassy in Honiara are keeping in close contact with each of the nation’s political parties after general elections on April 3 failed to give any party a parliamentary majority, spokesperson Andrew Lee (李憲章) said.
The Solomon Islands would soon have a coalition government, but there are “too many variables” to determine when it would happen, Lee said.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
“We will make sure to keep close and friendly relations with every major political figure to ensure our diplomatic relations remain stable with the new administration,” Lee said.
Several media reports cited a number of senior politicians, including Acting Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Hou, as saying that they would review diplomatic relations with Taiwan if elected.
Members of parliament are today to vote on who should head the new government, Radio New Zealand reported on Friday last week.
The two candidates are Mathew Wale and Manasseh Sogavare, the report said.
Wale was nominated by his Grand Coalition Group (GCG), while Sogavare was nominated by the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement.
Hou is part of Sogavare’s coalition, which claims to have the support of 33 lawmakers in the 50-member parliament, while the GCG said it is backed by 28 lawmakers.
Parliamentarians are to vote in secret ballots, with the winning coalition needing at least 26 votes.
Claims of support are typical in the Solomon Islands, where party loyalties are constantly shifting, making it impossible to know what the winning coalition will look like or how it will approach relations with Taiwan.
To further solidify ties, the ministry last month signed a memorandum of understanding in which Taiwan is to offer “strategic loans” reportedly totaling up to NT$900 million (US$29.17 million) to help the Pacific country build a national stadium for the 2023 Pacific Games.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up