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Friday, December 14, 2007

Sogavare removed as Solomon Islands' PM in no-confidence motion

The people of Solomon Islands will find out who will be their new prime minister next week.

After a day of debate MPs voted 25 to 22, in support of a no-confidence motion against Manessah Sogavare.

The parliament is expected to sit next week to appoint a replacement.

There were no reports of altercation or clashes followng yesterday's vote.

Our Pacific correspondent, Campbell Cooney, says the change is likely to lead to an improvement in the island nation's relationship with Australia.

Since taking power in April 2006, Mr Sogavare has battled with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), and its Australian leadership, over its purpose and direction.

His relationship with the Australian government has also been strained by his refusal to extradite his attorney general, Julian Moti, who is wanted in Australia on child sex charges.

Prior to this sitting of parliament, the opposition said it would authorise the arrest and extradition of Mr Moti.

The opposition has yet to announce who will be the new prime minister.

Security around parliament remains tight, although there are no reports of any trouble.

Source: Radio Australia

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