6 Aug 2010

Trouble erupts in remote part of Solomons' as vote count continues

4:26 pm on 6 August 2010

There have been the first reports of trouble in the Solomon Islands general election with disgruntled supporters of a losing candidate throwing stones and damaging a counting station in Temotu province.

That comes as a few senior politicians have been rejected by voters as the counting continues across the country.

Jo O'Brien reports

"Reports from the island of Santa Cruz in Temotu suggest the supporters involved, were those of high profile politician and Our Party member Patteson Oti. Police won't confirm this but say supporters of a losing candidate allegedly threw stones damaging a counting station, and looted the shop of a relative of the winning candidate after the unofficial result was announced in the provincial capital Lata at about 3am this morning. Police say the situation is now under control and they are sending out reinforcements. Other well known politicians to have been ousted are Francis Billy Hilly, the finance minister and National Party leader who lost the Rannogga/Simbo constituency to Charles Sigoto. Also out is the deputy speaker, Clement Kengava who lost North West Choiseul to Connelly Sadakabatu. But many familiar faces have been returned including Manasseh Sogavare, Snyder Rini, Matthew Wale, Toswell Kaua, Seth Gukuna and Job Dudley Tausinga. Security remains tight at polling stations in Honiara, with police officers and observers on hand to witness the counting."