Wednesday, 2 January 2008 2:02 PM

Nation Hopes for Political Stability

Three days into a new year, a new government, a new Prime Minister, the people of Solomon Islands hope for a more politically stable nation.

The new government under the leadership of Dr. Derek Sikua, within first week in power, extradited the former Attorney General, Julian Moti, back to Australia, wanted on child sex charges.

This is believed to be a step forward in rebuilding the country's diplomatic relations with Australia.

Next in line is the Police Commissioner's appointment which is under review.

The appointment of Commissioner of Police, Jahir Khan, raised public outrage when Manasseh Sogavare, then Prime Minister, steamrolled his appointment early last year.

An academic with doctorate in philosophy, Melbourne-educated Prime Minister Sikua, 48, said that one of his first tasks will be to patch relations with Pacific neighbours that turned sour following Manasseh Sogavare's decision to boycott the Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Tonga last year.

In bridging diplomatic relations, Prime Minister Sikua, in his first public press conference, said visits will be made to Papua New Guinea, Canberra and Wellington.

The press conference was informed that a call will also be made on the Forum Chair and the Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji.

Prime Minister Sikua was among nine government ministers and three government backbenchers that deserted the former Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare in November last year.

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By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
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