Protests erupt as Sogavare is elected as Prime Minister

Sogavare speaking outside parliament today.

Solomon Islands has a new Prime Minister-elect and he is Honourable Manasseh Damukana Sogavare.

Mr. Sogavare was elected in a secret ballot presided over by the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Dr. Frank Ofagioro Kabui at Parliament House this morning.

The Governor General publicly declared the election results at the Parliament’s Eastern gate soon after this morning’s election.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister-elect, Manasseh Sogavare acknowledged his colleagues for the election result.

He said his government would listen to the numerous public concerns raised.

“I would like to thanks of course my colleagues who have cast their votes for us and thus this result. I want to assure this nation we have listened to what people have said,”

“We’ve heard from various quarters and various groups who have made very important statements. These do not fall on deaf ears, we will take that into consideration when we work on government’s new policy”.

SIBC News understands, a total of 35 ballots were casted out of which one was spoilt.

The Grand Coalition’s 15 members boycotted the Prime Minister’s election meeting and walked out before the election.

Grand coalition members leaving Parliament today. Photo: Zahiyd Namo.

The Grand Coalition this morning protested the meeting of the election of the Prime Minister and staged a walk out during the election proceeding.

A statement by the Grand Coalition said, while it recognize the authority of the Governor General to preside over the meeting, under the country’s national constitution, the group felt that the decision of the High Court injunction and Orders directing the Governor General to postpone the election meeting should be adhered to.

Grand Coalition Prime Minister Candidate Mathew Wale explained, the High Court Order did not question the Governor General’s authority under Schedule 2 of the constitution rather it directed the postponement, given that the full hearing of the submission on the validity of the nomination of Honourable Manasseh Sogavare will be convened on Friday 26 April at the High Court.

Mr. Wale says his Coalition believes, the legal processes need to be respected and the walk out is for the sake of the rule of law.

“The Grand coalition believes that the election of the Prime Minister is the most important business of the country , so it requires diligence and prudent handling by the governor general,” he said.

“Different views of the law should left to a neutral body like the court, it is unfortunate that the governor general being the head of the executive acted like a judge in the election process as well.”

He said, the Grand Coalition will seek judicial review challenging the determination of the Governor General in this morning’s preceding.

Police disperse rioters. Photo: Island Business.

Damage inside the Pacific Casino Hotel.

 

Moments after the election result was answered , Pockets of public disorder in parts of Honiara following the Prime Minister’s election this morning have put the lives of women and children at great risk.

SIBC News was at the Pacific Casino Hotel earlier today and has witnessed damage caused to the hotel’s restaurant, its reception office and computers.

Vehicles parked outside the hotel were also stoned, including some vehicles owned by the members of the newly elected government.

A number of people have been hospitalized as a result of the situation.

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