18 Apr 2006

Shops and vehicles torched after Rini elected as Solomons Prime Minister

8:47 pm on 18 April 2006

The previously trouble-free Solomon Islands election process turned violent today, with protestors raining stones down on parliament, torching vehicles and looting shops in Honiara.

It followed the announcement that Snyder Rini would be Prime Minister after a vote by the 50 members of parliament.

Mr Rini, the former deputy prime minister, was elected ahead of Job Dudley Tausinga by 27 votes to 23.

Another contender, Manessah Sogavare, had been forced out after the first vote.

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says the violence escalated after police used tear gas to try and disperse the crowd.

She says this led to vehicles being set alight and shops in the town looted.

"I passed a couple of people running around with plastic bags filled with clothes and shoes and electrical goods which had come from some of these shops they had just looted. Asian shops from what I am gathering."