17 Nov 2011

New Solomons leader calls for public backing in first parliamentary speech

7:32 pm on 17 November 2011

Newly elected Solomon Islands prime minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, called for support in his first speech in the National Parliament today.

Mr Lilo was chosen by MPs on Wednesday - an election marked by violent protests in Honiara.

The new prime minister told Parliament that all Solomon Islanders had the democratic right to speak their minds but unlawful behaviour was not the way forward for the country.

He thanked MPs for their support and praised the outgoing prime minister Danny Philip for his efforts.

He reiterated government's commitment towards their policy to improve the livelihoods of rural people and the protection of the country's environment among other issues.

The opposition leader, Dr Derek Sikua, reminded Solomon Islanders to use their MPs if they wanted to voice their disagreements with the political leadership of the day.

Dr Sikua says the opposition had no part in the riots on Wednesday and actively tried to discourage those involved.