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Dec 20,2007
Solomon Islands get new PM
by UPI

HONIARA, Solomon Islands -- Derek Sikua has been elected prime minister of the Solomon Islands, replacing Manasseh Sogavare, who was ousted last week, it was reported Thursday.

Sikua, an opposition-backed former education minister, defeated Foreign Minister Patteson Oti in a 32-15 vote by members of the Pacific island nation's Parliament, the BBC reported.

Sogavare had been criticized in recent months for his abrasive style and was accused of tarnishing the nation's international image, the British network reported. He was removed from office in a no-confidence vote Dec. 13.

"The resolution of the political crisis has demonstrated the strength of Solomon Islands democratic institutions," Sikua said following his election.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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