21 Apr 2006

The new prime minister of Solomon Islands is expected to name his Cabinet

11:36 am on 21 April 2006

The new Prime Minister of Solomon Islands is expected to name his cabinet later today.

Synder Rini was sworn yesterday morning in what has been called a low-key ceremony for security reasons.

Mr Rini's selection as prime minister sparked unprecedented rioting and looting this week and amid calls for him to step down.

A government adviser, Johnson Honimae, says the Association of Independent Members, the Peoples' Alliance Party, the Lafari Party and Social Credit are now in the process of forming the government.

Mr Honimae says there have been no indications of who will be given portfolios.

"As you can see there is the Social Credit Party now becoming part of the coalition group. This is the party led by Mannaseh Sogavare who was himself a candidate in the race for Prime Ministership so there may be some changes."

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu says the Government has agreed to deploy 25 police officers to Honiara to help RAMSI and Solomons police.

Sir Rabbie told Parliament Snyder Rini made the request Wednesday night.

He says the government is also ready to send PNG Defence Force troops if required.

There are 10 Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary officers already in Honiara serving with the RAMSI.

And the Kiribati police force has assured the public over the safety of its police officers serving with the RAMSI mission in Honiara.

A spokesperson for the police commissioner says their men are safe despite the 2 days rioting and looting.

Six police officers left Kiribati last month to replace the officers who ended their term in Solomon Islands in early March.

Meanwhile, the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, says another contingent of police officers from Samoa will arrive in Solomon Islands next week.

Mr Downer, who is in Apia as part of his pacific tour, held talks with Samoa's Prime Minister where the current political crisis in the Solomon's was raised.