Solomon Islands 2006

Yearbook 2006

Solomon Islands. After the violence of recent years, the parliamentary elections in April were conducted under calm conditions. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Solomon Islands include Independence Day (July 7) and New Year (January 1). The choice was correct and fair. The government under Allan Kemakeza suffered defeat, and the majority of the members elected were independent. Deputy Prime Minister Synder Rini managed to gather enough support from these to be elected new head of government. But the Rini election triggered riots in the capital Honiara. The violence was directed at the Chinese minority, mainly businessmen, who were accused of being Rini’s favorites and of influencing the election results. Australia-led peacekeeping force RAMSI flew in reinforcements and got the situation under control, but major material damage had been caused to the already troubled community. When Parliament voted on distrust of Rini, he chose to resign.

Solomon Islands ended up in diplomatic conflict with Australia during the latter part of the year when it refused to extradite Chancellor Julian Moti, who in Australia was suspected of sexual abuse of children. Prime Minister Sogavare, a good friend of Moti, instead expelled an Australian diplomat. The conflict escalated when Sogavare accused Australia of being in power in the region and Australian police participated in a raid against Sogavare’s office for seizing evidence in the Motifallet. The raid was perceived as an abuse of the country’s sovereignty and Sogavare demanded that Australia be deprived of its leadership role in the peacekeeping force. At a meeting with the Pacific Islands Forum in October, it was decided to review the operations of the peace force.