Solomon Islands MPs elect new PM 2007-12-20 11:55:54   Print

    CANBERRA, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Solomon Islands MPs on Thursday elected Derek Sikua, the opposition candidate, as the Pacific nation's new prime minister.

    Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio reported that Sikua defeated the outgoing Sogavare government's candidate, Foreign Affairs Minister Patteson Oti, by 32 votes to 15.

    Sikua replaces Manasseh Sogavare, who lost a no-confidence vote last week.

    The new prime minister will be sworn-in by the Governor-General Thursday afternoon.

    In a brief statement after his election, Sikua appealed to the now opposition group to work together with his government for the good of the nation.

    The appointment of Sikua should mean better relations between Australia and Honiara, according to ABC.

    The Sogavare government has clashed with the former Australian government, who lost the federal election last month, over the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), accusing RAMSI of interfering in the Pacific nation's domestic affairs.

    RAMSI was deployed on July 24, 2003 to help the Solomon Islands government restore law and order after years of violence in the Pacific country.

Editor: Sun Yunlong
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