Solomon Islands PM Manele calls for respect to democracy

Newly elected Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon Jeremiah Manele (PHOTO: AFP/ Noel Celis)

Solomon Islands Prime Minister elect Jeremiah Manele gave his first speech outside parliament Thursday reminding Solomon Islanders to respect and uphold the democratic process of electing our Prime Minister. 

Manele said past Prime Minister’s elections have been met with the act of violence and destruction which had affected our economy and livelihoods. 

However, he said Thursday Solomon Islands must show the world that “we are better than that”. 

“We must respect and uphold the democratic process of electing our Prime Minister and set an example for our children and their children,”  Manele said. 

Manele won as Prime Minister with 31 votes and his contender Member of Parliament for Auki Langalanga Matthew Wale 18 votes. A total of 49 votes were cast during the Prime Minister’s election Thursday with one absent. 

The Prime Minister elect said Solomon Islands is still on the recovery path after the COVID-19 global pandemic and the 2021 riots. 

He said the recent report by the Central Bank on the state of our economy is concerning and calls for a more focus and aggressive approach. 

“It is not an easy task, but we will be reaching out to all relevant stakeholders as we progress on our road to recovery,” the Prime Minister elect said. 

Manele also outlined the immediate tasks of the Government for National Unity and Transformation. These include the appointment of the members of Cabinet, Members of Parliament oath of allegiance and the election of the speaker and deputy speaker. 

The Prime Minister elected added that his Government for National Unity and Transformation has already begun work on its policy and 100 days program which will be unveiled soon. 

 “There are also a number of legislations that are ready to come before parliament. These include the value added tax bill, space economic zone bill, mineral resources bill, forestry bill and others. 

“Cabinet will meet and decide on the priority legislations and policy programs for 2024 which include whether we need to revised the 2024 Budget or not,” Manele said. 

Manele is the Member of Parliament for Hograno Kia Havulei and the first MP from Isabel Province to be elected Prime Minister of Solomon Islands. 

“This is indeed a historic moment for my people of Isabel Province to have one of their sons as a Prime Minister of Solomon Islands. 

“I will discharge my duties diligently and with integrity. I will at all times put the interest of the people and country above all other interests,” the Prime Minister elect said.