18 Nov 2011

New Solomon Islands PM says rioters were opportunists

5:46 am on 18 November 2011

The new Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says the people responsible for rioting in Honiara on Thursday following his election are not representative of sentiment across the nation.

Life is returning to normal in the capital after hundreds of protestors opposed to Mr Lilo's election in parliament went on a rampage in central Honiara.

Police have been praised for their swift efforts in dispersing the rioters, who reportedly include groups of Malaitans unhappy that the new-look government is essentially the same as that under the ousted Prime Minister Danny Philip .

Mr Lilo denies that the government has a bias against Malaita and says the rioters were opportunists.

"It is very much localised and it is localised to organisations that have been living in town, and have been capitalising on putting unnecessary pressure and duress to government on unfounded issues just for the purpose of getting recognition without going through and exhausting the established institutions."

Gordon Darcy Lilo.