6 Apr 2006

Critic of Taiwan loses seat in Solomons' election

8:39 pm on 6 April 2006

A staunch critic of the involvement of Taiwan in Solomon Islands has lost his parliamentary seat in one of the first results announced after Wednesday's national election.

The Labour Party leader Joses Tuhanuku came third to Seth Gukuna in the electorate of Rennell-Bellona in an eight-way race.

Solomon Islands is one of the six Pacific countries which recognise Taiwan and Mr Tuhanuku had on several occasions accused it of funding selected candidates in the election to ensure it retained this support.

He had said that Taiwan was working closely with the Prime Minister Sir Allen Kemakeza.

Taiwan called the claims nonsense, saying all its aid spending was transparent and routed to the central bank.

Meanwhile, Job Duddley Tausinga, who was unopposed, was this afternoon confirmed as the MP for North New Georgia.