Solomon Islands PM accuses Australia of interference


The Solomon Islands’ prime minister has accused Australia of interference over its offer to help fund an election he controversially wants to delay. Manasseh Sogavare is seeking to defer the vote – due in mid-2023 – by seven months, a move critics say represents a turn towards authoritarianism. Australia says there is nothing unusual about its offer of assistance. Relations between the two countries have soured recently as Mr Sogavare’s government grows closer with China. Australia regularly offers financial and logistical support to Pacific countries for elections, including in previous polls in the Solomon Islands. But Mr Sogavare says it is timed to influence how MPs will vote on a bill to change the constitution. If passed, the bill would allow the election to be deferred.(BBC)…[+]