Solomon Islands chooses Jeremiah Manele as new prime minister

Sogavare, who built close ties with Beijing during five years in power, did not seek re-election to the top political office and his party backed Manele.

Manele said outside parliament on Thursday “the people have spoken”, and called for calm.

Manele’s OUR party, which has pledged to build more infrastructure, won 15 seats, and gained four seats under a renewed coalition with two micro parties. It needed support from independents to reach 26 seats for a majority in the 50-seat parliament. A total of 49 votes were cast with one lawmaker absent.

Lowy Institute research fellow Mihai Sora, a former Australian diplomat in the Solomon Islands, said Manele has “a strong track record of working well with all international partners”, compared to Sogavare who was “a polarising figure”.

Australian National University’s Pacific expert Graeme Smith said Manele was capable and “a big change in style” for the Solomon Islands.

Wale, in a 20-seat coalition of opposition parties called CARE, said on Wednesday the government had failed to create jobs and the economy was dominated by logging and mining companies which shipped resources to China, while health clinics were unable to obtain basic medications such as paracetamol.

SOURCE: CNA ( RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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