Protests in Solomon Islands as key China critic ousted in no confidence vote
Honiara (Solomon Islands), Feb 7 (IANS) The premier of one of Solomon Islands most populous provinces and one of the most vocal critics of the countrys relationship with China has been ousted in a vote of no confidence, according to a media report.
The move led to protests in Auki, Malaita province, on Tuesday, The Guardian reported.
Police confirmed with The Guardian that they had used teargas to disperse the protesters, adding that one police officer had been injured, but said the situation was now under control.
Malaita provincial premier Daniel Suidani has been one of the most outspoken critics of the country's relationship with China. He objected to the national government signing a controversial security pact with China last year, as well as the decision to break ties with Taipei in favour of Beijing in 2019, The Guardian reported.
He faced a vote of no confidence at the provincial assembly on Tuesday. The motion filed in the assembly alleged Suidani had illegally solicited money from a Chinese-owned mining company, inappropriately used government finances to pay the wages of his personal security guards and of financial mismanagement.
The vote passed unanimously after the premier and his executive walked off the floor of the provincial assembly meeting, boycotting the motion.
The national minister for provincial government Rollen Seleso said that Suidani's government had tried unsuccessfully to object to the legality of the motion of no confidence, but that the high court had ruled in favour of the provincial speaker and declared the vote could go ahead, The Guardian reported.
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