20 Dec 2007

Solomons parliament elects Sikua as new PM

3:05 pm on 20 December 2007

The Solomons Islands parliament has elected the North East Guadalcanal MP Derek Sikua as the new Prime Minister.

He beat the caretaker government's candidate and deputy prime minister Patteson Oti by 32 votes to 15.

Today's vote follows last week's ousting of the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in a no-confidence vote.

Dr Sikua was the education minister in the Sogavare government before defecting to the opposition with eleven other MPs early last month.

Dr Sikua acknowledged Mr Sogavare's leadership and apologised for any hurt the opposition may have caused him over recent weeks.