The essential steps to better democracy, trust and progress in SI

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DEAR EDITOR, the very recent passing of the all important raft of anti-corruption legislation in the Solomon Islands Parliament not only reflects credit on the Members of Parliament, the Prime Minister and the now Deputy Prime Minister, but to me is a clear indicator of Solomons society in change with more calls from all levels at the grass roots for openness, honesty and transparency, being the essential pillars for democracy, trust and progress.

In renewed efforts to tackle corruption I very much hope we will soon see a more open government that will accede to the calls for the people and recently the IMF for much greater transparency in the use of the CDF funds the Members of Parliament receive annually from the Government of the Republic of China (on Taiwan).

TSI, the people and several lending agencies have all called for a better level of transparency and to be able to see tangible evidence of constitutional development money that has contributed to rural infrastructure, job creation and better livelihoods for the 80 percent of the rural electorate throughout the country.

Social media, the print media, broadcasting and greater use of mobile phones has significantly improved the opportunities for the electorate to be better able to communicate and to demand change is instituted by their elected members of parliament.

Grasping the nettle as demonstrated by the bold, but long needed, passing of anti-corruption legislation needs to be followed up by the Solomon Islands government because the demand for change (and action) is growing stronger and the international community, including donors and lending partners, are watchful and hoping to see more open government and transparency come about by the present administration and by any that will follow with the possible election of new Members of Parliament in 2019.

It is my wish to see the Solomon Islands succeed in pursuing the greater ideals of democracy, truthfulness and economic progress and success for its entire people.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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