9 Dec 2014

Sogavare elected Solomons PM

5:40 pm on 9 December 2014

Manasseh Sogavare has been declared the prime minister of Solomon Islands on the steps of Parliament in Honiara this morning.

Manasseh Sogavare

Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI

The election by secret ballot required only one round of voting with Mr Sogavare polling 31 votes over Jeremiah Manele who secured 19 votes.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Sogavare said he was humbled to be given the mandate to lead the country for the third time.

He acknowledged the losing candidate and possibly the new opposition leader, Jeremiah Manele, and thanked the people of Solomon Islands for their prayers and support.

"And I like to say here that my new government's vision for change isn't just political rhetoric. All of us we know of the need for redirection and reforms, just must embrace these themes. We will stress this point when we talk with all our stakeholders including our international donor community who are in the country and who have helped us so much."

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says the announcement of his election was greeted with cheering from the crowd at parliament and honking of horns in the city as the news was broadcast live on national radio.

Mr Sogavare's first job is to consolidate party policies in his coalition and to pass a budget for government spending as it expires at the end of the year.

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