17 Nov 2011

Australia warns travellers to Solomon Islands following election of PM

7:54 am on 17 November 2011

Australian officials have warned travellers to the Solomon Islands of possible unrest and disruptions after the Pacific island nation elected Gordon Darcy Lilo as prime minister.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says there could be more political violence in the wake of Mr Darcy's election and disruptions to regular services.

Australia leads an international peace and security force in the Solomons.

Gordon Darcy Lilo was sworn in as new Prime Minister after being elected to replace Danny Philip yesterday in parliament.

The vote triggered a riot by hundreds of protestors who went to Government House to demand the immediate removal of Mr Lilo.

When their demand wasn't met, a breakaway group went on a rampage in central Honiara before a police riot response team dispersed the rioters and brought the capital under control.

Our correspondent Koroi Hawkins says many people feel Mr Lilo is too close to the ousted Prime Minister, members of whose government make up most of the group which has voted Mr Lilo into power.

"They seem to be re-formed, including the ousted prime Minister has stood up in a group photo with them and said he's supporting Gordon Darcy Lilo as their candidate and if all is peaceful and goes according to the law, it looks like the same government will be rolling again, under the leadership of Gordon Darcy Lilo."

Koroi Hawkins.