Parliament left with 48 after 2 MPs lose seats over bribery
The 11th Parliament now left with 48 Member of Parliament (MP) after two MPs have been kicked out over election corruptions.
They are MP for Central Honiara and Minister responsible for the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development John Moffat Fugui and the first-time MP for North East Guadalcanal Jamie Vokia.
Both MPs found guilty of election briberies on Friday 14 in a High Court petition rulings.
However, on Monday 17 February courts dismissed petition against MP for East Kwaio constituency, Stanley Sofu.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer found Sofu not guilty of bribery on all four counts he was accused of by petitioner and former MP Alfred Sasako.
Mr. Fugui was found guilty of giving $500 to a voter on the eve of the National General Election (NGE) in April last year.
He was re-elected for the third consecutive term as MP for Central Honiara but automatically lost the seat after the High Court ruling on Friday.
Alfred Efona who lost to Mr. Fugui in the 3 April NGE filed the petition.
Also, MP, Vokia, was found guilty of three counts of corruption.
Mr. Vokia won Northeast Guadalcanal and former Prime Minister Derek Sikua in last year’s April election.
Dr. Sikua who lost to Mr. Vokia in last year’s election filed the petition.
Both Mr Fugui and Mr Vokia were influential in the Manasseh Sogavare led government’s decision to switch diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China last year.
Mr. Fugui was chair of the taskforce and Mr. Vokia was the deputy chair.
Total of 28 election petitions were filed after the NGE on 3 April last year.
So far five MPs survived their cases and retained their seats after High Court dismissed their petitions.
They are MP for East Kwaio Stanley Sofu, MP for East Fataleka Rex Annex Ramofafia, MP for Ngella, Bartholomew Parapolo, MP for Central Guadalcanal Bradley Tovosia and MP for Lau/Mbaelelea Augustine Auga.
Petitions cannot be appealed, unless the court decision was based on technicalities and not on the merits of the case.
Under the new Electoral Act, all petitions had to be done by May.
Below are petition cases that are awaiting decisions and trial:
- MP for Temotu/Vatud, Freda Tuki
- MP for North Malaita Senley Filualea.
- MP for East Areare, Peter Kenilorea Jnr,
- MP for South New Georgia, Danny Philip,
- MP for Gizo/Kolombangara, Lanelle Tanangada,
- MP for Central Guadalcanal, Peter Shanel Agovaka,
- MP for Central Kwara’ae, Jackson Fiulaua,
- MP for West Honiara, Namson Tran,
- MP for East Honiara, Douglas Ete,
- MP for West Areare, John Maneniaru,
- MP for East Malaita, Manasseh Maelanga,
- MP for South Vella La Vella, Fredrick Kologeto
- MP for South Choiseul Robertson Galokale
- MP for Savo/ Russell, Dickson Mua
- MP for West Kwara’ae, Sam Iduri,
- MP for West Guadalcanal, Anthony Veke,
- MP for West New Georgia, Silas Vangara Tausinga