Bill to extend parliament

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Solomon Islands National Parliament
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

THE proposed Bill to delay the 11th Parliament to 2024 or permanently extend for five years can be scrutinised by the Bills and Legislative Committee.

This after the Constitutional Review Committee in Parliament is also identified to scrutinise the Bill if it is tabled in Parliament.

Under Section 61 (4) (a) of the Constitution, the notice of the proposed Bill has been given to the Speaker at least four weeks before the first reading of the Bill in Parliament.

Parliament Office said by default position, any bill can go through BLC apart from the Appropriation Bill which the Public Accounts Committee is mandated to scrutinise it.

However, Parliament Office said the CRC can do an issue base inquiry on the proposed Bill.

Under the Standing Orders of Parliament, the CRC can review the Constitution regularly and examine any changes of the proposed Constitution.

“It is still not sure whether the Speaker will allow the proposed Bill to be scrutinised by BLC or CRC,” Parliament office said.

The CRC is currently without a Chairman after Member of Parliament for Rennell and Bellona,” Dr Tautai Angikimua Kaitu’u has vacated his responsibility.

The members of CRC are Opposition Leader Mathew Wale, Member of Parliament for East Are Are, Peter Kenilorea Junior, MP for South New Georgia, Rendova Tetepare, Danny Philip, MP for East Honiara, Douglas Ete and MP for Central Kwara’ae, Jackson Fiulaua.

Furthermore, Parliament Office said the one-month notice is to allow time to notify the Committee members, hold enquiry with different stakeholders and make recommendations of the report.

Unlike the Government’s bill, it has a duration of four days and Non-Members Bill is 12 days.

However, one month notice is given to the proposed Bill because it is a Constitutional Amendment.

The Government intended to delay the elections to 2024 because the Pacific Games is taking place in 2023 as well.

So far, Transparency Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands Christian Association, House of Chiefs on Guadalcanal and other women’s organisations have opposed the delay or extension of Parliament because they want to the election held in 2023.


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