Solomon Islands’ pro-China Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare fails to secure a majority | Solomon Islands’ pro-China Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare fails to secure a majority Election News

Sogavare is vying with opposition parties to form a ruling coalition after the election results were inconclusive.

There was no clear winner in the Solomon Islands election, with pro-Beijing Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare pitted against rival opposition politicians in a bid to form a coalition government to lead the Pacific island nation.

Solomon Islanders voted a week ago in the first closely contested election since Sogavare switched diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing in 2019 and later agreed to a controversial security deal with China.

In Wednesday’s election results, Sogavare’s OUR party won 15 of the 50 seats in parliament, the main opposition party secured 20 seats, and independent and small parties secured 15 seats.

United Party Leader Peter Kenilorea Jr., who has promised to return party ties to Taiwan, and Democratic Alliance Party Leader Rick Hou told Reuters that politicians are seeking independent support to secure the 26 seats needed to form a government. He said the situation is fluid and he is reaching out to the public.

Analysts previously told NDMT that while the international community may be focused on relations with China, Solomon Islanders are more concerned with “basic” issues such as cost of living, health and education. Told.

Sogavare, who was narrowly re-elected to his seat, said he remained in control of the country and security.

“In terms of security, I will exercise full executive authority and I will continue to run the country in terms of security,” he said in an interview with Tavri News, citing concerns about the possibility of violence. Told.

Honiara was rocked in 2021 by riots in which demonstrators targeted businesses in the capital’s Chinatown and attempted to storm Mr Sogavare’s residence. At the request of the government, peace was restored with the deployment of Australian police.

Sogavare said his party has the support of two small parties and that the opposition parties are divided over who should be prime minister, saying he would support an independent candidate.

“There’s big competition on the other side. Something is going to break,” he said.

The CARE coalition, made up of Matthew Wale’s Solomon Islands Democratic Party, U4C and former Prime Minister Rick Howe’s Democratic Alliance Party, won 13 seats.

Kenilorea Jr. said his party, which won seven seats, would “align with like-minded groups.”

The Solomon Islands is home to 760,000 people spread across hundreds of islands, and the post-election period could be tense as politicians try to cobble together a coalition government.

At the request of the Sogavare administration, police and defense forces from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji are assisting with election security.

Police have quelled a minor incident of violence between two villages on Malaita Island over the weekend due to the election results.

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