Guadalcanal Leading Duo Takes Up National Duties

Guadalcanal Leading Duo Takes Up National Duties

By Simon Tavake

In a significant move that highlights their rising influence in Solomon Islands politics, Guadalcanal’s leading duo has transitioned from provincial leadership to taking up new roles on the national stage.

Francis Sade and his counterpart Lazarus Alfred Rina are two visionary leaders who served in the Guadalcanal Provincial Government.

They led the province together under the Government for Inclusive Change and Sustainable Development (GICSD) from 2019 until December last year, with Sade serving as Premier and Rina as Deputy Premier.

Sade, a former Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) for Sahalu Ward in the Northwest Guadalcanal Constituency, held the position of Premier for the past four and a half years, from 2019 until December 2023.

In the recent election, he contested for Parliament under the Solomon Islands United Party (UP).

Lazarus Rina hails from Keremanivo Village in East Central Guadalcanal and served as a three-term MPA. He represented the Kolokarako ward in the East Central Constituency of Guadalcanal and entered the Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly in 2010.

In the previous government, Rina served as Francis Sade’s Deputy and was also a former Minister for Education in the Anthony Veke Government.

Both Sade and Rina contested in the recent joint election and emerged victorious in their respective constituencies, with Sade winning in North West Guadalcanal and Rina in East Central Guadalcanal Constituency.

Now that the election is over, the two newly elected MPs are shifting their focus to their new roles as national leaders.

They are now prepared to serve the entire country, not just their province, and are ready for the challenges ahead.

In an interview with SIBC News during the week, former Deputy Premier Lazarus Rina acknowledged the working relationship he had with his former boss Francis Sade.

He described Sade as a humble and loving person, a true son of Guadalcanal.

Newly elected MP for East Central Guadalcanal Constituency, Lazarus Alfred Rina.

Rina also mentioned that they managed to survive two Motions of No Confidence (MoNC) during their tenure in the 10th Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly.

“My working relationship with the former Premier of Guadalcanal is very good, not only between us but also with our executive members.

“We were like brothers, able to discuss provincial matters openly. I must say that Francis is a very humble person who listens to everybody. He has demonstrated the qualities of a true leader, a true son of Guadalcanal.”

“We faced two Votes of No Confidence attempts, but we managed to remain united until the end,” said the former Deputy Premier and MP Elect for East Central Constituency of Guadalcanal.

Lazarus Rina stressed that their move to the national level was a result of the effective leadership they demonstrated while serving in the province.

He stated, ‘’I want to stress that we have changed a lot of things in the province, including improving the province’s revenue.”

“Our debts have been cleared and the province should announce that anytime from now.

“I believe it is the leadership that we have demonstrated that has helped us in our victory in this year’s election. I see it as a bonus for us, Mr. Rina added.

In 2020, the Former Premier Francis Sade aimed to make the province debt-free.

Former Premier of Guadalcanal Province and MP elect for North West Guadalcanal Constituency, Francis Sade during Guadalcanal’s’ second appointed day celebrations in 2021.

He stated that his government’s goal is to make Guadalcanal Province Debt-free, financially independent, and sustainable.

Although he could not be reached for comments, it was confirmed by the Guadalcanal Provincial Government that the GICSD had inherited over SBD $20 million in debts since the 2019/2020 FY.

Debt servicing made up the biggest percentage of the previous financial budgets.

Regarding the debt clearance, the province announced last year that they had paid off the remaining debts, less than $2 million from the $28 million since 2003.

This move has strengthened the financial sector and addressed various issues, such as implementing 14 ordinances, delivering tangible services, emphasizing robust good governance practices, and addressing land-related issues.

The province stated that the incoming executive government will face numerous challenges after the provincial government election in 2024.

It is hoped they will continue the progress made by the Sade Government to establish the consistency lacking in Guadalcanal politics.

Now ready to take up new challenges, Rina has several plans in place, including the implementation of the Guadalcanal Province Ordinance.

“I will make sure that the Guadalcanal Province Ordinance must be assented. With this, it will address the needs and circumstances of the Guadalcanal People.”

He also appealed to the seven MPs of Guadalcanal to work together for the province’s development.

“I want to appeal to the seven MPs of Guadalcanal province to work together in addressing the common needs of our people and to assist in the development of the province,” added Mr. Rina.

Rina joined the Solomon Islands Democratic Party, led by Mathew Wale, the winning MP for Aoke-Langalanga and former Opposition Leader.

SIBC news understands, this marks the first time for both a former Deputy Premier and Premier of Guadalcanal Province have won national seats.

The Government for Inclusive Change and Sustainable Development is the only executive government of the Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly to complete a full term since 1985. The late Rt. Honorable Ezekiel Alebua was the other Premier to almost serve a complete term, i.e., only 3 years.


Share This