Large-scale defections from Solomons govt

The Solomon Islands government of Manasseh Sogavare appears to be on the verge of collapse after a series of resignations by ministers.

Seven ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga, tendered their resignation on Saturday.

Among the defectors were also former prime ministers Danny Phillip and Snyder Rini, lending weight to reports that a new group is forming to change government.

The group is basing its lobbying at the Honiara Hotel, and was yesterday joined by more ministers and government backbenchers.

They claim the current government, called the Democratic Coalition for Change, has lost trust and confidence in the leadership of Mr Sogavare.

The prime minister's office says the government remains intact.

However the Honiara Hotel group is claiming a majority of MPs in the 50-seat parliament, and plans to move a motion of no-confidence against Mr Sogavare in the coming weeks.