SIR ALLAN KEMAKEZA ELECTED NEW SOLOMON ISLANDS PRIME MINISTER

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (December 17, 2001 – ABC Australia News Online)---The new Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands is Sir Allan Kemakeza.

He was elected this morning in a secret vote by the newly elected 50-member Parliament, just months after awarding himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in government compensation.

Sir Allan's People Alliance Party, which was a coalition partner in the outgoing government, teamed up with the former finance minister, Snyder Rini, who had gathered together support from a large group of newly elected independents.

Although Mr. Rini had been nominated last week by his group to contest the prime ministership, he withdrew his nomination when the Members of Parliament met in Honiara this morning.

It was a clear win for Sir Allan.

He received 29 votes while the other three candidates, who included the prime minister forced to resign after last year's coup, Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, shared the other 21.

There was a less than enthusiastic reaction from the crowd that had gathered outside the Parliament to hear the result.

Nobody cheered when the Governor General made the announcement.

For additional reports from ABC Australia News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/ABC News Online.

 

SOLOMON ISLANDS CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP ALLEGES BRIBES TO VOTING MPS

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (December 17, 2001 – Radio Australia)---A civil rights group claims large sums of money were offered to the country's newly elected MP's as they prepared for a vote to elect a new prime minister.

The Honiara Civil Society Network made no secret of who it didn’t want to become prime minister: former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakaza [elected Prime Minister Monday] and Finance Minister Snyder Rini.

The Civil Society Network said earlier that if either man got to power the Solomons would get more of the ethnic unrest and economic difficulties that it has endured for the past 18 months.

It said the future of the Solomon Islands hangs in the balance and that economic and social disaster is certain if the country doesn't get ethical and decisive leadership.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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