Solomon Islands ousts official critical of close relations with China – ABC
8 February, 2023, 7:06 am
SYDNEY (Reuters) – A vocal critic of China and leader of the most populous province in the Solomon Islands has been removed from office after a no-confidence vote by the provincial legislature on Tuesday, Australian state broadcaster ABC reported.
Daniel Suidani, premier of the South Pacific nation’s Malaita province, is a longtime critic of the country’s deepening relations with China, which culminated in a security pact signed last April. He has banned Chinese companies from the province and accepted development aid from the United States.
Malaita’s provincial assembly ousted Suidani on Tuesday, according to two reporters from the ABC.
Residents of Malaita opposed the decision by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s government in 2019 to formally recognise China instead of Taiwan.
Violent protests broke out in the capital, Honiara, in 2021 after Sogavare refused to meet residents from Malaita who had travelled to the city.