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.
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.