27 Feb 2013

Settling indigenous demands a main goal of new Guadalcanal premier

5:02 am on 27 February 2013

The new premier of Solomon Islands' Guadalcanal province says one of his main aims is to ensure that long-standing demands of the island's indigenous people are addressed.

Stephen Panga has replaced Anthony Veke, who resigned last week amid allegations of misusing public funds but which he categorically denies.

The demands date back to 1999 and stem from indigenous Guadalcanal dissatisfaction over land appropriation, resource development and internal migration.

Mr Panga, who was premier before Mr Veke's election in 2010, says the national government must take them seriously.

"The only way to address the demands of the people of Guadalcanal is for the Solomon Islands government to consider introducing a federal state government as progressively in place at the moment on various reports that have been done."

Stephen Panga says most of the demands relate to constitutional issues.