Solomon Islands in violent protests after losing bid for PM

Written by CNN Staff Writer

Solomon Islands has entered a 36-hour lockdown after violent protests turned violent for the second time in a month.

On Monday, days after losing a bid to become prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare drove his car through a crowd of police in Honiara, the country’s capital, before being shot in the arm, according to the BBC. Sogavare is currently under police guard.

On Wednesday, a group of protesters barricaded roads outside parliament and set fire to vehicles. Fearing violence, the prime minister declared a state of emergency.

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The government then ordered the closure of schools and public transport, while informing about 30,000 Solomon Islanders living overseas that they were not allowed to return home because of riots. Many NGOs also closed their offices.

Sogavare was prime minister for 15 years and won independence from Britain in 1978. He was replaced by current leader Manasseh Sogavare, who had previously served as a minister in the government.

“Mr Sogavare, who has not been seen since Monday, has always been an unpopular figure with the people of Solomon Islands, who have had him fail them in the past,” the New Zealand Herald reported.

However, current leader Sogavare has said he has no plan to take power. In a radio interview on Tuesday, Sogavare said he did not want to try to overturn the result of the recent elections.

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