Solomon Islands Elects Pro-China Prime Minister

    Solomon Islands Elects Pro-China Prime Minister
    Image copyright: Hagen Hopkins/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Solomon Islands' newly-elected lawmakers on Thursday selected China-friendly former Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele as the country's next prime minister in a secret ballot.

    • He received 31 votes, while the opposition leader, Matthew Wale, won 18 votes from the 50-seat parliament. One member of parliament reportedly couldn't arrive in the capital in time for the ballot.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    As the new prime minister is the very person who signed a shocking security deal with China years ago, the PRC will likely maintain its growing influence in the Solomon Islands. However, Manele is thankfully far more conciliatory than Sogavare, so it's unlikely that he will further jeopardize relations with traditional Western allies.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While the West — and the opposition — sought to make this election all about geopolitical disputes between global powers, ordinary Solomon Islanders simply don't care whether their country deepens ties with China or with traditional partners such as America and Australia. All they want is for their plight to be addressed and Manele is the person to deliver this.

    Metaculus Prediction

    Go Deeper

    Establishment split



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