The Solomon Islands election of April 2006 was the first since the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands arrived in mid-2003. In its aftermath, riots in Honiara resulted in the destruction of much of Chinatown, the worst incident of civil disorder since the commencement of the Australian-led operation in July 2003. This article examines the election outcomes, and the preceding, largely neglected, impact of RAMSI on the shifting balance between the incumbent Kemakeza government and the opposition. It looks at how and why Snyder Rini's government emerged victorious on April 18 th 2006, and why it collapsed eight days later. In conclusion, the article revisits debates about the causes of the Honiara riots, contesting some of the more far-fetched conspiracy theories and emphasising instead the depth of Solomon Islander reaction against a deeply flawed premiership selection process.
|Published - 2006