Solomons police call for calm to counter riots after PM elected

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Rioting in Honiara today after the parliamentary election of Manasseh Sogavare as Prime Minister. Image: Screenshot from Dan Dãñzõ Kakadi video

By RNZ Pacific

Police in Solomon Islands called for calm today after rioting broke out in the capital of Honiara over the election of Manasseh Sogavare as the new prime minister.

Sogavare’s win – his fourth term as prime minister – represents a continuation of the last government and those protesting are purportedly people who had been wanting a change in government

Videos and pictures posted on social media show large crowds of mostly young men walking and running through the streets, yelling and throwing stones at buildings, and breaking in and damaging some private properties.

READ MORE: Protests erupt in Solomon Islands as Sogavare elected for fourth time

A woman police officer in riot gear in Honiara today. Image: Pacific Newsroom

Police riot squads have been trying to disperse the more rowdy groups with tear gas.

One group caused substantial damage to the Pacific Casino Hotel complex at Kukum where Sogavare and the members of his Democratic Coalition for Advancement had been based

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The situation in Honiara remains tense with most shops and businesses having closed.

Police said they would continue high visibility patrols throughout the night and are urging people to stay away from the city centre.

Meanwhile, Sogavare has been sworn in at Government House and is now officially the prime minister of Solomon Islands.

This article is republished under the Pacific Media Centre’s content partnership with Radio New Zealand.

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