Top Asian News 12:50 a.m. GMT

Solomon Islands pro-Beijing prime minister won't keep his job following elections

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Solomon Islands pro-Beijing Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Monday withdrew from the contest to remain head of the strategically important South Pacific island nation’s government following general elections two weeks ago that are central to the U.S.-China rivalry in the region. Sogavare has been reelected to the parliament. But he told a news conference in the capital Honiara on Monday he would not be nominated as a candidate when the 50 newly elected lawmakers vote on Thursday for the prime minister, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Sogavare had hoped to become the first Solomons prime minister to maintain power in consecutive four-year terms following the April 17 election.