Chiefs in East Kwaio meet ahead of MP’s visit

Member of Parliament for East Kwaio, Stanley Sofu.
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CHIEFS, elders and representatives from communities within Yuru Harbour of East Kwaio constituency met last Friday in preparation for the proposed MP’s visit.

The meeting was organised by Yuru Harbour House of Chiefs with the intention to get people’s view on the extension of the life of parliament from 4-5 years.

A person who spoke to this paper on the meeting said the meeting was convened and discussion made on the “extension of parliament” as the chief agenda and other current controversial issues.

He said concerns were raised on the chief agenda and a common understanding was reached that chiefs and communities within Yuru and even Kwaiba’ita do not support the proposal.

The person said that in addition to the understanding, the people even agreed not to receive the visit in the constituency.

He said the chiefs and communities vehemently disagreed with the proposal despite whatever reasons government is basing on for the extension.

The person said the issue of the security pact was also discussed and similar conclusion was reached that people didn’t agree with government’s preference on the matter.

Also, according to a post in East Kwaio Politic and Development forum on the meeting, the chiefs said they saw no benefit of the South Pacific Game as reason for the extension of the parliamentary term from 4-5 years.

“The chiefs of East Kwaio understand that there are two important events next year 2023, and so the election has to be moved.

“A question raised was, why should we allow that two weeks event to be the priority of the government than having election which is an important event that should be respected as it is an important element within our current laws and constitution.

“There are 52 weeks in a year and so the SP Game would be hosted for only two weeks, what about the other 50 weeks?

“Where is the sovereignty the Prime Minister is so boastful about that an important legal instrument within our constitution has to be defer just because of a two weeks event that comes and goes?

“The chief of East Kwaio asserted that the SP Game would not benefit us, but only people within the ruling government that is why they see it as a priority.

“Learning from past experience, when Solomon Islands hosted the Pacific Arts Festival in 2012, it only had an impact on the urban dwellers but not the rural people.

“Only the election would have an impact on us that is why we see it as an important event that usually occurs after every four years.

“The chiefs who convened for the one-day consultation meeting had passed a resolution that they do not support the extension of the life of parliament no matter what explanation would be made by the MP during his proposed visit.

“The people of East Kwaio appeal to their MP to not support the extension and must listen to the very people whom he duly represented.

“We also appeal to all our national leaders to listen to us as well,” he wrote.