25 Oct 2011

Kiribati opposition dismisses China election funding claim

3:08 pm on 25 October 2011

A re-elected MP in Kiribati denies claims the opposition's campaign is being funded by China.

The caretaker President, Anote Tong, has alleged the election being held this month is being influenced by foreign powers.

Kiribati is one of six Pacific countries that has diplomatic relations with Taiwan rather than China.

But the former president and now opposition MP, Teburoro Tito, who was elected in last week's first round of voting, says the opposition would make the same claim.

"Taiwan is fully backing them, has been in finance of their campaigns all along. Even now, one million dollars from Taiwan. That's [a] good bet for them. No government has ever had something like that in the past. They're lucky to have one million dollars backing from Taiwan to fund anything. Almost, a birthday party, it has come to that."

Teburoro Tito says the opposition has done its own fundraising.