Jeremiah Manele is the new Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands

Jeremiah Manele becomes the 19th Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.

Jeremiah Manele becomes the 19th Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.
Photo: AFP/RNZ Pacific

Jeremiah Manele has been elected Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands with 31 votes to 18 over rival candidate and former opposition leader Mathew Wale. One deputy was absent from the vote.

The final result of the secret ballot election was recently announced by Governor-General Sir David Vunagi on the steps of Parliament in Honiara.

Before the vote, Manele’s camp had claimed the support of 28 MPs, while Wale’s camp said it had 20.

Manele’s victory signals the return of the incumbent government previously led by Manasseh Sogavare.

Manele’s administration, which calls itself the Government of National Unity and Transformation (GNUT), is made up of three parties; His own Our Party is the largest, followed by Manasseh Maelanga’s People’s First Party and Jamie Vokia’s Kandere Party.

Together, the parties emerged from the elections with 19 deputies, but have added nine more to their ranks. We will know which MPs have joined which parties once the political party registrar updates its lists of political party members.

In the run-up to the election, Manele and his coalition partners were working to merge their policy priorities into a 100-day plan that they are expected to announce to the public in the coming days.

Once Manele has decided on the composition of his Cabinet, he will report to the Governor General to set the date for the first session of Parliament.

‘I will perform my duties with diligence and integrity’ – Manele

In his first national address on the steps of Parliament, Manele congratulated the people of Solomon Islands on the success of the elections and called for peace.

“Past prime ministerial elections have been met with acts of violence and destruction. Our economy and our livelihoods have suffered due to this violence. However, today we show the world that we are better than that,” he said.

“We must defend and respect the democratic process of electing our prime minister and set an example for our children and their children.”

Manele paid tribute to the traditional landowners of the island of Guadalcanal, on which the capital Honiara is located.

He also outlined the next steps in forming his cabinet, which he said he would announce in the coming days and in the first session of parliament.

He said members of his coalition government were finalizing their 100-day plan which they hoped to unveil soon.

Manele also listed a series of legislative proposals that they intend to bring to Parliament.

“These bills include the value-added tax bill, special economic zones bill, mineral resources bill, forestry bill and others.

“The Cabinet will meet to decide the priority legislative and policy programs for 2024. Which includes whether we need to review the 2024 budget or not,” he said.

Finally, he said he felt very honored by the trust that his fellow parliamentarians have given him.

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

“I will carry out my duties with diligence and integrity. At all times I will put the interests of our people and our country above all other interests.

“Leading a nation is never an easy task. I ask you to remember me and your government in your daily prayers so that we may serve as our lord commands.

He pledged allegiance and allegiance to the national anthem, the national flag and the country’s constitution.

“We are one people, we are one nation, we are the Solomon Islands. To God be the glory for the great things he has done. May God bless you all, may God bless the twelfth parliament and may God bless the Solomon Islands of coast to coast.”

Who is Jeremías Manele?

Jeremiah Manele, who turns 56 this year, is the member of parliament for Hograno Kia Havulei in Isabel province.

He is the country’s first prime minister since Elizabeth, where his hometown is Samasodu.

Manele served as Foreign Minister in the last government and ran in these elections under the banner of Our Party, although he was previously affiliated with the Democratic Alliance Party.

He was elected deputy for the first time in 2014 and was the leader of the opposition in the country’s 10th Parliament. He also previously served as Minister of Development Planning and Aid Coordination in the 11th Parliament.

Before entering Parliament, Manele was a public servant and diplomat who represented the country as Chargé d’Affaires of the Solomon Islands Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Papua New Guinea and a Certificate in Foreign Service and International Relations from the University of Oxford.

Police monitor the security situation at night

Solomon Islands police will maintain a heightened security presence in the capital overnight amid reports of possible protests against the result of the prime minister’s election today.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Ian Vaevaso, who was in charge of security operations in Honiara during the vote, said things were calm and peaceful after the governor-general announced the result, but they would monitor the situation overnight. .

“We received numerous reports of people saying they would protest and cause disturbances in Honiara. In our assessment of that threat, we treated it as it is,” Ian Vaevaso said.

He said he was impressed and grateful for the support his officers received from the public and attributed that collaboration to the successful and peaceful conduct of today’s elections.