10 Mar 2006

Taiwan rejects Solomons election bribery claims

4:20 pm on 10 March 2006

Taiwan's ambassador to Solomon Islands has reacted angrily to a claim that his country is funding some candidates in next month's election.

Labour Party leader Joses Tuhanuku says Taiwan is funding candidates and interfering in the political process.

But the Ambassador Antonio Chen says he rejects the accusation of bribery.

He says all of Taiwan's aid funding is transparent and payment is made through the Solomon Islands Central Bank.

He says it is impossible to know when investing in a project which individuals might later choose to run for parliament.

"How can you know in 2002 when you release the funds to help to purchase the ship and how do you know from 2002 that their manager is going to run in the election in 2006? How do you know early 2005 - one year ago - that when you support a community agricultural project,, how do you know that their provincial members are going to run in the election."