29 Mar 2016

Solomons opposition cries foul over festival selections

10:40 am on 29 March 2016

The Solomon Islands opposition has accused the government of nepotism in its selection of cultural groups and artists for this year's Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam.

A performer at the Festival of Pacific Arts, 2012.

A performer at the Festival of Pacific Arts, 2012. Photo: SUPPLIED / Festival of Pacific Arts

The Solomon Star newspaper reports the opposition claiming political interference after several established cultural groups selected last year were removed at the last minute despite putting in months of practice.

Some of these groups had even been awarded government grants for costumes and preparation.

The opposition also said the replacement groups were relatively inexperienced, claiming they were handpicked by government MPs to curry favour in their constituencies.

The opposition said the government should release the full list of cultural groups and artists being sent to the festival along with the criteria used.

27 Pacific nations are expected to participate in the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts set to take place in Guam from the May 22 to July 4.

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