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Solomon Islands PM Refuses to Step Down


The Solomon Islands' newly elected Prime Minister Snyder Rini is standing firm against demands by opposition members that he resign to ease tensions on the island nation.

In his first news conference since his appointment earlier this week, Mr. Rini said Friday he was elected through a democratic process. He also expressed confidence he will beat a no-confidence vote next week when parliament meets.

Riots erupted Tuesday in the capital, Honiara, following Mr. Rini's appointment. Opponents contend he is under the influence of ethnic-Chinese businessmen.

Most of the buildings looted and burned in the rioting this week in were in the capital's Chinatown district.

Honiara is reported to be quiet Friday with Australian troops patrolling the streets. Earlier Friday, Australia said it will send 110 additional troops to the Solomon Islands to help restore order.

The Solomon Islands' general elections earlier this month was its first since 2003, when Australian forces stepped in to end violence between indigenous people on Guadalcanal and migrants from Malaita island.