13 Dec 2007

Solomons leader dumped in vote of no confidence

7:33 pm on 13 December 2007

The Solomon Islands Government of Manasseh Sogavare has been toppled in a vote of no confidence.

The vote came more than a month after eight Cabinet Ministers and four other MPs defected to the Opposition in protest at Mr Sogavare's management of the Government.

The Opposition grouping, which is yet to decide on who will lead the new Government, won the vote 25 to 22 with one abstention among the 48 members.

The motion was moved by the former Education Minister Derek Sikua who said they had lost confidence in Mr Sogavare.

He also criticised the Prime Minister for sacrificing key international donor partnerships to protect his controversial attorney general, Julian Moti; for his negativity toward the Regional Assistance Mission, RAMSI, and for wanting to re-arm police.

Our correspondent in Honiara Dorothy Wickham predicts an improvement in relations with countries such as Australia.

"I think there will a bit a drastic change in our international relations and the way this Government views the world compared to the previous Government. I think RAMSI might have a better relationship with this grouping."