24 Apr 2019

Heavy police presence ahead of Solomon Islands PM vote

9:27 am on 24 April 2019

Police numbers around the Solomon Islands parliament have been increased today ahead of the vote of a new prime minister.

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Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins

One of the two candidates, Matthew Wale, has questioned the eligibility of his rival Manasseh Sogavare.

The police commissioner Matthew Varley said there will be checkpoints around parliament to make sure no weapons are being carried.

Mr Varley said a total of 700 officers will be involved in the operation to ensure a trouble-free process.

Meanwhile, the claim Mr Sogavare is not eligible to contest the prime minister's post is based on his late registration of his political party, which was done after the National General Elections earlier this month.

The Governor General has full discretion over the running of the election of the prime minister and he has said he will make his decision on Mr Sogavare's eligibility known in parliament ahead of today's vote.

The prime minister's election is done by secret ballot and in order to win candidates must secure at least 26 of the 50 votes in the house.

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