Dramatic results emerging from Solomons election
Dramatic results are emerging from elections in Solomon Islands, as counting continues following voting on Wednesday.
Dramatic results are emerging from elections in Solomon Islands as counting continues following voting on Wednesday.
The most stunning result is that caretaker prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has lost his seat.
Don Wiseman spoke to reporter Koroi Hawkins, who is in Honiara.
KOROI HAWKINS: The biggest drama is of course the caretaker prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo being voted out of his constituency. Very unexpected, by a school teacher, an unknown political candidate and also veteran politician Job Dudley Tausinga, more than 30 years in politics, consecutive terms, and he's also been voted out although I think he has in the spirit of retirement this year. That was quite a big margin by what he was voted out. So it's been quite dramatic and results are still coming in. So far six candidates all up. Only two have retained their seats. There is one unofficial third that's retained his seat but that hasn't yet been declared and four all new candidates so it looks like a bit of a shake-up of the old guard, so to speak.
DON WISEMAN: What do we know about the demise of Gordon Darcy Lilo? You say it was a surprise. Do you think this is a reflection of him as prime minister or has he not been able to pay attention to his electorate? What's gone on?
KH: Throughout his term he's always been criticised for not going down enough to Gizo and Kolombangara to visit his electorate but there has been reports that a vessel a ship full of his supporters arrived in Kolombangara too late. They arrived at like six o'clock so they weren't allowed to vote so that could of played a part but the margin was quite big so I think it's also as you say a turn of the tide. People wanting a new MP and just voting the old prime minister out and now they have a totally new person and it will be interesting to see how he steps up to the plate he has big shoes to fill.
DW: Gordon Darcy Lilo of course has been a very dominant political force over the last several years. We can expect some very significant changes with him not there.
KH: That's right. He's an outspokenly a supporter of all logging interests in the country. He's a strong supporter of logging and advocate of helping businesses which he says is the biggest income earner for the country. So him not being in the political scene will certainly have some serious repercussions. I'm not sure what they will be yet but his exit will be felt.
DW: Well here we are, it's the second day of counting, we've had dramatic results already. What's the attitude of the people? Is this having an impact on them?
KH: So far it's still early days yet. People are sort of listening and waiting for the various results to come in, trying to see what kind of parties are winning as well as the candidates. So far you have quite a lot of independents. Only three parties so far are registering MPs that have come through. While there's been a lot of uncertainty or surprising results coming from the provinces, here in the capital the sitting MPs or the former MPs are actually leading the count and some of them by a significant margin. Early days yet but we should be getting some reaction soon. The local civil society groups have called for losing candidates to respect the process. So has the police commissioner so it will be interesting to see how losing candidates and their supporters react.
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