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China-friendly politician becomes Solomon Islands prime minister

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Jeremiah Manele held a press conference after winning the prime ministerial election. Photo: Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP / NTB

Of NTB | 05/02/2024 05:03:59

Policy: The former foreign minister received the support of 31 of the 50 members of the country’s national assembly.

The opposing candidate, long-time opposition leader Matthew Wale, received 18 votes in the secret ballot. He has sought to limit China’s grip on the Pacific nation.

– The people have spoken, says Manele, who is happy that the election was not marked by violence, as it has been before.

Experts believe that Manale will maintain close ties with China, although he is perceived as less bombastic than his predecessor, Manasseh Sogavare. Sogavare withdrew from the election process earlier this week after he failed to gather a majority.

The Solomon Islands are among the poorest countries in the world. The country’s 720,000 inhabitants are spread over several hundred islands and coral atolls.

(© NTB)

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