9 Aug 2010

School students targetted by losing candidate in Solomons' election

5:48 am on 9 August 2010

School students blamed for the victory of a candidate in Malaita have become another target for supporters of candidates unhappy with results in the Solomon Islands election.

But despite that police say the situation has calmed since a ballot box and papers were destroyed, and a counting station and shops were damaged on Friday.

Jo O'Brien reports

"Police say 11 people have been arrested including a losing candidate after students and staff at a church school received threats because they were believed to have voted for the winning candidate in their constituency, who was a church member. They say rocks thrown at the Su'u National Secondary School in West Kwaio destroyed a water pump and a building, forcing the evacuation of about 250 students. That follows the destruction of a ballot box and the burning of ballot papers in the Malaitan capital, Auki on Friday. Three people have now been arrested in Temotu province following the stoning of a counting station and looting of a shop on the same day. Also on Friday the looting and damaging of the shop of a winning candidate in Central Province resulted in the arrest of sixteen people."