15 Mar 2006

Fresh claim in Solomons over foreign influence in domestic affairs

7:50 pm on 15 March 2006

A Solomon Islands politician, Alfred Sasako, says Taiwan and Australia are influencing the country's political affairs.

His comments support earlier claims by the Labour Party leader, Joses Tuhanuku, who alleged that Taiwan is using bribes to fund candidates against former MPs.

The claim was strongly denied by Taiwan and by the Solomon Islands prime minister.

But Mr Sasako has now told the Solomon Star that a candidate sent by the Taiwanese embassy in Honiara told people in his electorate of East Kwaio they would stop to support the region as long as Mr Sasako remains a member of parliament and a candidate for the area.

He also says the Taiwanese embassy provided payments through the same candidate for two projects in East Kwaio.

Mr Sasako also says Australia is interfering in the country's domestic and parliamentary affairs.