Pacific Media Watch

9 August 2010

SOLOMON IS: Tight security as more former PMs lose in elections

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RAMSI peacekeeping soldiers in Honiara. Photo: Oceania Flash

HONIARA (Radio NZ International/Pacific Media Watch): The Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands says counting continued in the
national election with no further trouble yesterday, Radio NZ International reports.

Declarations have now been made in all three Honiara constituencies amid tight security, with no reports of problems.

Police reinforcements have been sent in to Auki in Malaita province, where a ballot box and ballot papers were burnt on Friday night following allegations that boxes had been tampered with.

Extra security has also been sent to Tulagi in Central province where the shop of the winning candidate was looted and damaged, and to Lata in Temotu province where a counting station and the shop of a brother of the winning candidate was damaged and looted.

A RAMSI spokesperson says there have been no reports of further incidents overnight.

In election results, another former Prime Minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, of the People’s Alliance Party, has lost in Savo Russell, following the departure from parliament of two other former leaders, Fred Fono and Francis Billy Hilly.

Fisheries Minister Severino Nuaisi has also been defeated in West Are Are, but Home Affairs Minister Peter Tom, Provincial Government Minister Manasseh Maelanga, Infrastructure Minister Stanley Sofu, Communications Minister Varian Lonamai, and Lands Minister Samuel Manetoali have been returned.

In West New Georgia, Silas Kerry Vaqara Tausinga, son of MP Job Dudley Tausinga, defeated Peter Boyer.

In Central Honiara John Moffat Fugui has defeated sitting MP Nelson Ne’e, and in West Honiara businessman and casino owner Namson Tran defeated Isaac Inoke. That follows the victory of union leader Douglas Ete in East Honiara.

On Friday, the Solomon islands Broadcasting Corporation reported that a once notorious Malaitan militia leader, who was recently released from jail, had made it into Parliament.

Former Malaitan Eagle Force Commander Jimmy Lusibaea captured the seat of North Malaita with almost four times the number of votes as his nearest challenger. - Radio NZ International/Pacific Media Watch

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