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Solomon Islands Lawmakers to Elect PM, With Consequences for China

File image of Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele who is a contender for the prime minister role in the new government. NOEL CELIS / AFP

China-friendly former foreign minister Jeremiah Manele was elected prime minister of the Solomon Islands on Thursday, defeating an opposition leader intent on curbing Beijing’s reach in the Pacific nation.

Governor-General David Vunagi said Manele won 31 votes in a secret ballot of 50 MPs, the climax of a national election that will resonate in Beijing, Washington, and across the South Pacific.

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