O.U.R. Party unveils five key policy priorities: Solomon Islands Caretaker PM Sogavare

Manasseh Sogavare (Photo: O.U.R Party Solomon Islands/Facebook)

Solomon Islands Parliamentary leader of O.U.R. Party and caretaker Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare has unveiled the five key policy priorities of the party during the launching of the party’s manifesto.

The launching took place in East Honiara, attracting a large number of supporters and intending candidates.

In his guest speech as the parliamentary wing leader of O.U.R. Party, caretaker Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare stated that the first policy priority is the promotion of national unity and social cohesion.

Sogavare pointed to the challenges facing our national unity, and made the assurance that O.U.R. Party is fully aware of the expressed desires for greater autonomy and even secession.

The caretaker PM also referred to the ethnic tension of 2000 and recent ramblings in Malaita as reminders, and that O.U.R. Party recognised these concerns and is committed to address them but within a united Solomon Islands.

Sogavare stated that the party will continue to maintain the push for federalism, the recent passage of the amendment of section 61 of the national constitution to cater for the establishment of the Constituent Assembly displayed that seriousness.

Caretaker PM Sogavare underlined that the party will continue to support the peace process, build on the success of the Pacific Games and other infrastructure investments to encourage and develop sports, support youth, women and disabled empowerment.

The second policy priority is enhancing the rule of law, the legal system and the governance system, and this will in turn increase public confidence in our government institutions, improve service delivery efficiency, ensure public safety and security. These conditions will allow for social and economic policies to flourish flawlessly.

He also stated that the party will continue to enhance the effectiveness of the party system. He further added that the party will continue to work with bilateral partners to strengthen the capacity and capability of the Police force, with the aim to create a full police autonomy.

Thirdly, O.U.R. Party emphasised strongly on promoting socio- economic growth to enhance service delivery and spark economic benefits to the people. The party will continue with transformative infrastructure developments by tapping opportunities offered through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Global Development Initiative, Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific and Solomon Islands Infrastructure Programme, and other traditional and multilateral channels.

Sogavare who is also the founding father of O.U.R. Party, made the assurance that the party will speed up the investment in telecommunications infrastructure, by ensuring the 161 telecommunications towers under the Solomon Islands National Broadband Infrastructure Project is completed within the specified timeframe.  

Caretaker PM Sogavare underlined that the party will make investments in road infrastructures both in the urban and rural areas. In the long term, more investment will be made to self- sufficiency and sustainability, renewable energy infrastructure particularly solar and hydropower. 

Other areas where more investments will be targeted include social infrastructure such as sports and health sectors. Further, the promotion of sustainable developments of our natural resources across tourism, agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. 

The party will continue to place high regard to the review of the tax regime, patching up loopholes that continue to create fiscal wastages and leakages, reviewing and reform state- owned enterprises, increasing employment opportunities in labor mobility schemes and other measures.

Fourthly, O.U.R. Party will prioritise national defence and security and trade, while maintaining a pragmatic foreign policy stance. The party will strengthen relationships with China through a ‘look North’ foreign policy, while nurturing ties with other traditional partners such as Australia. 

The Caretaker PM emphasised that as a party, we are committed to the “friends to all and enemies to none” stance. 

Finally, O.U.R. Party prioritises land and resources empowerment and development. 

The O.U.R. Party parliamentary wing leader and care- taker Prime Minister stated that the party will employ best approaches to make land and resources available for economic development while ensuring the interests of resource owners are guarded and protected. 

Caretaker PM also made the assurance that the party will review and speed up the progress of major national projects.

The O.U.R. Party parliamentary wing leader strongly highlighted that O.U.R. Party has seasoned politicians who have been tried and tested through difficult times and have proven their maturity to overcome these challenges. 

“We have delivered and will deliver again”, the Caretaker PM and O.U.R. party’s parliamentary wing leader stated.

Meanwhile, the ‘CARE’ Coalition will launch its coalition policy in Honiara today.

The ‘CARE’ Coalition stands for Coalition for Accountability Reform and Empowerment (CARE).

The coalition slogan heading into the election is ‘WE CARE’.

The ‘CARE’ coalition is a partnership between the Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP) led by Matthew Wale and the Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) led by Rick Houenipwela.

Wale is the former Opposition Leader and former MP for Aoke/Langalanga. Houenipwela is the former MP for Small Malaita and a one time former Prime Minister.