Biographical entry: Kemakeza, Allan (1950 - )
- 11 October 1950
- Prime Minister
Allan Kemakeza, policeman, politician and seventh Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands was born on 11 October 1950 on Savo Island. He joined the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in 1972 and served in various positions until he resigned in December 1988 to stand as a candidate in the 1989 national elections. He won the Savo/Russell seat and in 1989 was appointed as Minister for Police and Justice, until 1990 when he became Minister for Housing and Government Services. He was re-elected in the May 1993 election and became Deputy Leader of the Opposition (1993-1994). Kemakeze then joined the Mamaloni government as Minister for Forests, Environment and Conservation (1995-1996). He was re-elected to Parliament in the August 1997 national election and again became Deputy Leader of the Opposition. In June 2000, after Prime Minister Ulufa'alu (q.v.) was removed in a coup, Kemakeza was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace in the government of Manasseh Sogavare (q.v.). In August 2001, he was sacked from the Ministry over allegations of corruption relating to SI$850,000 received for property supposed to have been lost during the 'tension' years.
In the December 2001 national election, his People's Alliance Party won twenty seats and became the largest party in the Parliament, which ensured his election as Prime Minister on 17 December 2001, and his swearing in two days later. His tenure, until April 2006, was a period of great turmoil during the 'tension' when militant forces from Guadalcanal and Malaita caused disarray and stopped the already shaky government from functioning. He made the initial move for the intervention by the Pacific Forum-sponsored and Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in mid-2003. Despite several motions of no confidence, he served his full term in office until the next national election on 5 April 2006, in which his party lost its dominant position. He sponsored his Deputy Prime Minister Snyder Rini as Prime Minister. On 25 April 2006 Kemakeza became Deputy Speaker of the National Parliament and in September 2010 its Speaker.
In November 2007, Kemakeza was convicted of demanding money with menace, intimidation and larceny relating to a raid he allegedly ordered on the Honiara law firm Sol Law. He was convicted and served five months in prison in 2008, a period short enough for him to retain his knighthood. The Sogavare Government claimed that Kemakeza had attempted to obtain a pardon and admitted trying to woo Kemakeza out of Parliament with an offer of the Chairmanship of the Solomon Islands Water Authority, but Kemakeza denied this. After the defeat of the Sogavare Government, he became Minister of Forestry in the Sikua Government, vacating his Deputy Speaker position. He lost his seat in the August 2010 national election and stood for and won the Speaker's position vacated by Sir Peter Kenilorea (q.v.), a position he retains at this writing.
Kemakeza was made a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and also received a Taiwanese Order of the Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon in January 2006. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Kemakeza [accessed 14 Apr. 2011])