14 Dec 2002

Solomon islands minister accuses Australia of involvement in reshuffle

6:41 am on 14 December 2002

A Solomon Islands Cabinet Minister claims he was moved from his portfolio after pressure on the Government from Australia.

In a reshuffle this week, Nollen Leni was moved from Foreign Affairs to Planning,- a moved he says was spearhed by the Australian Government through its Honiara High Commission.

Mr Leni's move allowed Laurie Chan to become Foreign Minister, while Snyder Rini resumed the Finance portfolio.

Earlier this week the Government indicated that Mr Chan resigned his post because he felt his position had become untenable when special constables and regular police were given unscheduled payments.

But the Solomon Star newspaper reports Mr Leni saying Australia had interferred in the country's political affairs and was ignoring Solomon Island protocols.