The Solomon Islands government has dismissed reports of local militia planning a coup against the prime minister.
In a statement on Tuesday the government said media reports of such a move against Manasseh Sogavare were nothing but a smear campaign.
The statement singled out a senior freelance journalist, Alfred Sasako, for "trumpeting" the rumours.
"From the series of newspaper articles propagated by Sasako and his unnamed sources, it is apparent that some individuals continue their dislike of the government using all sorts of redundant tactics to create disunity and promote instability," the statement said.
It said the process for removing a Prime Minister was through the National Parliament and not by an armed group.
And that in the uncertain times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it said provoking political and social instability should be the last thing on everyone's minds.