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Solomon Islands

Yearbook 1997

Solomon Islands. According to Countryaah, Parliamentary elections were held in early August. For the 50 seats in Parliament, 345 candidates were in the line-up. When Parliament gathered at the end of the month, the Liberal Party leader, Bartholomew Ulufaʹalu, was appointed new Prime Minister. He got 26 votes to 22 for fellow contestant Danny Philip, who after the election succeeded former Prime Minister Solomon Mamaloni as leader of the Group for National Unity and Reconciliation.

1997 Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands has been inhabited for the past 4000 years. The island's original inhabitants were a Melanesian people whose social organization was simpler than among the peoples of other Pacific islands.

The first Europeans to arrive in the islands were Spaniards led by Alvaro de Mendaņa, who searched for El Dorado (Gold Country). In the 18th and 19th centuries, they converted the islands into slave labor reserves for sugar plantations in Fiji and Australia.

After the First World War, Britain converted the islands into a colony. Japan occupied the islands in 1942, and when World War II ended, Britain again occupied the islands and subdivided them, so that the 14,000 km2 eastern portion was subdivided into Australian administration and incorporated into Papua New Guinea.

Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) led by Solomon Mamaloni and Solomon Islands United Party (SIUP) was at the forefront of the struggle for independence. It culminated in 1976 when the islands gained internal autonomy. On May 21, 1975, Britain and the local government agreed to grant the islands independence and it was proclaimed on July 7, 1978.

Both the financial system and agricultural production are in foreign hands. Although attempts have been made to diversify the economy, the country's economy remains highly dependent on the world market.

Solomon Mamaloni was elected prime minister in August 1981, after Parliament had decided to set up 5 ministries responsible for regional affairs. In addition, Parliament decided to prohibit the entry of nuclear-powered ships or aircraft into the country's territory.

 

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