Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Solomon Islands’ pro-Beijing leader rules out renominating for PM

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun10,2024
Key Points
  • Incumbent Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare has confirmed he will not seek renomination.
  • Sogavare narrowly held his seat in the national election on 17 April.
  • It was the first election since he signed a controversial security pact with China in 2022.
Manasseh Sogavare will not stand for renomination as Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.
Sogavare said his party would instead back former Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele when politicians vote this week.
The two major opposition parties struck a coalition deal on Saturday as they vie with Sogavare’s party to form a government after an election delivered no clear winner.

Last week’s election was the first since Sogavare struck a security pact with China in 2022, inviting Chinese police into the Pacific Islands archipelago and drawing the nation closer to Beijing.

The election has been watched by China, the US and Australia because of the potential impact on regional security.
Sogavare, who narrowly held his seat in last Wednesday’s national election, announced he would not be a candidate for prime minister at a televised press conference on Monday evening.
He said he had been vilified by media and that his family had been subjected to abuse.
“My family, my children included, have been subjected to unprecedented verbal abuse. I have been continuously vilified in the media,” he said.

“But that did not waver my resolve to continue to serve our people. It has not been easy.”

Sogavare said his government had been “under pressure from the United States and western allies” and he had been “accused of many things”.
“Geopolitics is at play, after we made a very important decision in 2019,” he said, referring to his government’s decision to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing.
Manele said that if he was elected as prime minister he would have the “same foreign policy basis – friends to all and enemies to none”.

Election results on Wednesday showed Sogavare’s OUR party won 15 of the 50 seats in parliament, while the opposition CARE coalition has 20.

Independents and micro parties won 15 seats, and courting the independents will be the key to reaching the 26 seats needed to form a government.
Sogavare said on Monday his party had support for 28 seats.
Nominations for candidates for prime minister opened on Monday, and MPs are expected to vote on Thursday.

The nomination vote had previously been expected to take place on May 8.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Solomon Islands’ pro-Beijing leader rules out renominating for PM”
  1. It’s concerning that Sogavare’s decision not to seek renomination follows the controversial security pact with China. The transition to a new leadership under Manele amidst coalition deals raises questions about the Solomon Islands’ future relationships. Regional security implications are at stake, and the scrutiny from global powers underscores the gravity of the situation.

  2. It’s disheartening to see the incumbent Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare choose not to seek renomination after the recent election. The decision to back Jeremiah Manele instead will significantly impact the political landscape in the Solomon Islands. His stance on the security pact with China was controversial, but his dedication to serving the people should be acknowledged amidst the challenges he faced.

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