Mr Frank Kabui is elected new Governor-General designate of Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands National Parliament elected a new Governor-General on Monday 15 June 2009. Retired Judge and current Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, Mr. Frank Ofagioro Kabui was elected Governor-General designate of the country after four rounds of voting that lasted more than 3 hours. The other candidates for the highest position in the land were incumbent Governor-General Sir Nathaniel Waena, Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Sir Peter Kenilorea, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr. Edmund Andresen, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Provincial Government, Mr. John Tuhaika, Former Parliamentarians, Mr. John Maetia Kaliuae and Mr. Joses Tuhanuku, Former Lord Mayor of Honiara City, Mr. Alfred Maetia and Former Secretary to the Solomon Islands Christian Association, Rev. Philemon Riti.
Nominations for the position opened on Thursday 11 and closed at 4pm on Sunday 14 June 2009. The elections went through 3 rounds of voting without any one candidate receiving the required absolute majority. Under the rules, elections continue until an absolute majority is reached. In the fourth and final round Mr. Kabui was declared Governor-General designate after he received 30 votes, giving him an absolute majority of the 46 votes cast.
In an interview with the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Kabui said that he was honoured that Members of Parliament had confidence in him. He acknowledged the challenges that came with the position but added that as long as he remained within the constitutional bounds of the office, he would do well. The Governor General is the de facto Head of State representing Queen Elizabeth II. The Governor General is appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Parliament to a five year term. This is in contrast to many Commonwealth countries where the Queen’s representative is appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister and the cabinet.
Frank Kabui, 63 is from Manakwai Village, Malu’u in North Malaita. He graduated with a law degree from Papua New Guinea in 1975 and became the first local Solomon Islander to be appointed Attorney General in 1980. He held the position for 14 years and was elected Chairman of the Law Reform Commission in 1994. In 1998 he was appointed High Court Judge and retired in April 2006 when he turned 60. In the same year he was appointed Chairman of the Law Reform Commission and has held the position until now. Kabui will assume office when Solomon Islands celebrated its 31st Independence anniversary on Tuesday 7th July 2009.
Table of results of the election of the Governor General at Parliament House