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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Solomon Islands MPs to elect new PM next week

Members of the newly elected Solomon Islands Parliament will meet next week to elect a new Prime Minister.

Accroding to Radio Australia, the Governor General has issued a proclamation setting Tuesday, April 18 as the date for the 50 MPs to decide who should lead the government. Nominations close on Thursday, giving the prospective candidates and their parties just a few days to work out coalition arrangements and determine who should be put forward as a candidate.

Sir Allan Kemakeza has been prime minister since 2001. His position was weakened in the election, after 11 of his 20 People's Alliance Party MPs lost their seats. In all, 25 MPs out of 50 lost their seats in the election.

Meanwhile, not all the 50 winners have arrived in the capital, Honiara, from the provinces. They have been told by the clerk of parliament their airfares will be reimbursed, but one party leader says his MPs have spent all their money on the campaign and cannot afford the cost of a ticket. Other parties have plenty of money and accusations are already being made about funds being offered to secure support for prime ministerial aspirants.

Reports from Radio Australia


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