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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Former Guadalcanal Premier Regains Post
Panga wins snap election after Veke resignation

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Feb. 23, 2013) – Stephen Panga yesterday regained the premiership job he lost in the last Guadalcanal Provincial election after 11 of the 21 members put him back into power.

The snap election was held after former premier Anthony Veke resigned early this week amidst allegations of misuse of public funds.

In his victory speech, Mr Panga said he will continue on with the policy framework and plans of action of the Veke government, which he was part of.

"I intend to honour the policy framework and programme of action so that we continue with ongoing activities as well as build on the foundation put in place over the past two years."

He said his executive will make changes only if absolutely necessary to ensure continuity and effectiveness in the province’s development efforts and service delivery.

Mr Panga said some of the priority issues his executive will focus on includes land issues on Guadalcanal, investment activities, bona fide demands of the Guadalcanal people, state government for Guadalcanal, reconciliation between his people, the national government and people of Malaita, pursue Doma township and USP fourth campus and address law and order issues in the province.

"My government intends to engage the national government to pursue the settlement of Lungga Land and to protect the customary land of Guadalcanal people.

"My executive will engage the national government and appropriate bodies to look at squatter settlements around Honiara and the customary land recordings to ensure security for both land owners and potential investors.

"My government will continue to promote investment activities and uphold existing agreements and ensure resource owners derive benefits and minimise negative environmental impact from the developments.

"We would work closely with the national government to seriously look into the bona fide demands of the Guadalcanal people ...and pursue state government," Mr Panga added

He finally said that he will ensure Law and He said his executive will pursue inter and intra reconciliation between the people of Guadalcanal as the first step.

Mr Panga’s only rival, former national MP Walton Naezon, collected 10 votes in the two-man contest.

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