22 Jul 2008

Solomons opposition denies seeking help from former militants

3:27 pm on 22 July 2008

The Solomon Islands opposition leader Manasseh Sogavare has denied writing to the former militants to ask for their support in next month's no confidence vote.

Mr Sogavare has challenged the deputy prime minister Fred Fono to provide proof of the letter.

Mr Fono alleges that Mr Sogavare twice resorted to violence to get into office, the first time after the coup against the Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu in 2000 and the second time after the April riots of Honiara in 2006.

However, Mr Sogavare says the opposition group has had met former combatants at their request to outline its policy on the issue of rehabilitation should there be a change of government.

He says the former combatants have been frustrated by the government's failure to fulfill its policy on rehabilitation for the ex-combatants.

Mr Sogavare says his group has nothing to hide about meeting the former combatants.