6 Aug 2010

Solomon Islands counting station reportedly damaged

3:19 pm on 6 August 2010

Disgruntled supporters of a losing candidate in Solomon Islands are reported to have thrown stones and damaged a counting station in Temotu province.

It is the first account of trouble in the general election held earlier this week, Radio New Zealand International reports.

Reports from Temotu suggest the supporters involved were those of high-profile politician and Our Party member Patteson Oti.

Police will not confirm this, but say supporters of a losing candidate allegedly threw stones, damaged a building and looted the shop of the winning candidate after the unofficial result was announced in the provincial capital Lata about 3am on Friday.

Police say the situation is now under control and they are sending out reinforcements.

Security remains tight at polling stations in Honiara, with police and observers to witness the counting.

Other well-known politicians to have been ousted are Francis Billy Hilly, the finance minister and National Party leader who lost the Rannogga/Simbo constituency to Charles Sigoto.

Also out is deputy Speaker Clement Kengava, who lost North West Choiseul to Connelly Sadakabatu.

However, many familiar faces have been returned, including Manasseh Sogavare, Snyder Rini, Matthew Wale, Toswell Kaua, Seth Gukuna and Job Dudley Tausinga.