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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, January 11) – A veteran Solomon Islands provincial politician Steven Ngele was elected the new speaker of Guadalcanal Assembly yesterday.

Mr Ngele polled 16 votes of the 21 members house, with his nearest rival Savino Kokopu receiving just three votes whilst Silas Tovusia 0.

Straight after his election, Mr Ngele promised to lift the standard of the province’s politics in response to the support politicians have in him.

The new speaker also wanted to put a close eye on the micro funds to the province.

He said for so long members did not take politics in the province seriously and he wants that changed.

Guadalcanal Province caretaker deputy premier Steven Panga fully endorsed Mr Ngele’s comments.

In congratulating him, Mr Panga said the speaker has seen the downfall of Guadalcanal Province politics, which needs to be improved.

He said the members need to know their areas of responsibility, which he believed at times, was over-ridden by others.

All new Guadalcanal members except for two assembled at the SICA Office in Honiara yesterday to undergo the voting.

Provincial Secretary Justice Deni and senior administrator and former Member of Parliament for South Guadalcanal Victor Totu presided over the election.

Mr Totu said Ngele won on absolute majority.

In his first task yesterday, Mr Ngele announced the opening of the nomination for the position of premier.

The Guadalcanal leaders will return to the same room to elect their premier tomorrow at 10 am.

Nominations for the premier opened yesterday morning and so far two members have been nominated.

They are caretaker deputy premier and Gaobata Ward member Stephen Panga and Malango Ward member Joash Salani.

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