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Solomon Islands Parliament has elected Rick Hou as the island nation’s new Prime Minister.
The Small Malaita MP defeated opposition nominee Moffat Fugui 33 votes to 16.
The vote came after former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was ousted from power last week in a vote of no confidence in his leadership.
Before the vote today, the caretaker government candidate for the post of Prime Minister expressed confidence about winning the election for the country’s top political post.
Rick Hou who once served in New York, as a Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the World Bank was one of the two candidates contesting today’s election for Prime Minister.
“I’m very confident. Actually I’m 101 percent confident,” the Member of Parliament for Small Malaita said when asked at a press confidence Tuesday about his level of confidence about a victorious outcome for him from today’s election of a new Prime Minister.
When asked why there were only 28 Members of Parliament present in the Cabinet chamber Tuesday for a photo session organised for the local media, Hou said two MPs could not make it for the event for good reasons.
Hou said the MP of Parliament for West New Georgia/Vonavona Silas Tausinga was in his constituency and was scheduled to arrive back in Honiara after lunchtime yesterday, whilst the MP for East Kwaio Stanley Festus Sofu was in hospital after being admitted the previous night.
“Otherwise all of us are here. Our number remains at 30 and it is intact. Tomorrow (today), you will see that it will not be less than 30 MPs that vote for me.
The Small Malaita MP appealed to leaders of churches, communities and social groups especially in Honiara to remain calm and allow the 50 MPs to do what is required of them under the constitution.
“Don’t try to influence the voters (politicians). My appeal to everyone in the country, especially in Honiara is to allow all MPs to vote with the conscience. Voting with conscience is the true vote and not a vote that you are forced to take. Tomorrow (today) you will see the true vote,” the Islands Business Magazine "Man of the Year" for the Pacific region in 2003 said.
SOURCE: PACNEWS/SO,LOMON STAR/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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