Solomon Islands. Political instability continued to
characterize the country during the year. In January,
several ministers left the government and, together with
some MPs, went over to the opposition. An intelligence
report accused Australia of offering bribes for government
politicians to go to the opposition. Australia was thought
to want to remove Prime Minister Danny Philip's government,
who in turn wanted the Australia-led peacekeeping force to
leave the Solomon Islands. The peace force was deployed in
2003 to create peace after years of bloody ethnic conflicts.
Countryaah official site, Australia rejected the bribery allegations and a
diplomatic conflict arose. After political talks, however,
the dispute was resolved, and the Solomon Islands government
agreed that the charges lacked evidence.
In US diplomatic reports leaked to WikiLeaks, Australia
was accused of failing to stabilize the fragile community of
the Solomon Islands. According to US estimates, the country
would need outside help for another 10-15 years. If the
peace force left the country, it would recede in a matter of
weeks, according to diplomats who described a deeply corrupt
society. Mainly warned of the influx of Taiwanese money,
used to buy political influence. Solomon Islands is one of
the few countries that maintain diplomatic relations with
Taiwan and not with China.
Prime Minister Danny Philip resigned in November, just
before Parliament would hold a vote of confidence. Philip
was accused of corruption and said to have used a
multimillion-dollar fund donated by the Taiwanese government
to pay out to his relatives and supporters.
Parliament elected Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo as
new head of government with 29 votes to 20. The election of
Lilo triggered violent protests in the capital Honiara,
where protesters from the island of Malaita feared that
their home island would not receive state support with Lilo
as prime minister.