GUADALCANAL'S NEW PREMIER ALEBUA SAYS BETTER DAYS AHEAD

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 2, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane/Tohi)---The newly elected Premier of Guadalcanal, former Prime Minister Ezekiel Alebua, has assured the people of the Solomon Islands province that they will see welcomed changes during his term of office.

Speaking during his swearing-in ceremony in Honiara Wednesday, Alebua said his government is determined to revitalize the province's stagnant economy.

He said the feeling on Guadalcanal, which is the Solomon Islands' largest province, was that past provincial governments had spent too much time politicking and did nothing for the people.

It is time people from other parts of the country residing in Guadalcanal contribute to the province’s advancement, Alebua suggested.

Many people from other Solomon Islands areas, he said, have made a living out of Guadalcanal, which hosts the national capital, Honiara, and have contributed nothing back to the province.

Alebua was elected Wednesday in a landslide victory over two rivals, polling 15 votes in the first and only ballot to topple former Premier Siriako Usa, who received only two votes.

Roselyn Dettke, the third candidate and only female in the 21-member Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly, polled four votes.

Alebua, who was Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands from 1986 to early 1989, was sworn in by Assembly Speaker Joash Salani.

Following the formal ceremony, Alebua announced the members of his nine-person executive committee, including Deputy Premier Nolan Leni.

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