Confusion over West, Choiseul elections

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BY BEN BILUA
Gizo

WESTERN and Choiseul Provincial administrations are awaiting a decision from the Ministry of Provincial Government on whether to allow the “now-dissolved” provincial governments to take the role of caretaker or not.

Speaker of Choiseul Province and Deputy Provincial Secretary of Western Province were clear in the media this week saying that next move to make sure both the provincial operation and services continue depending on decisions from the Ministry of Provincial Government.

“It is still unclear whether the government will be acting as caretaker or provincial businesses and operation will be managed by the Provincial Administration.

“This is where we are still awaiting updates from the Ministry of Provincial Government.

“Previously, the ruling government normally acts as a caretaker government, when the house is dissolved. At the moment it is not clear so we are waiting for the Ministry to give us the directives,” Speaker of Choiseul Province, Greg Sokeni made these statement when Island Sun interviewed him earlier this week.

Provincial Secretary of Western Province, Patrick Toiraena made similar statements when speaking to a Solomon Star Reporter in Gizo.

It is still unclear whether both provinces have got updates from the Ministry of Provincial Government yesterday.

However, reports reaching this paper states the issue is before the Attorney General’s Office for deliberation.

Western and Choiseul Provincial governments were dissolved on Monday 13th June, this is in accordance with the law – meaning provincial operations and services are now put on halt, unless the Ministry of Provincial Government authorizes which ever strategy would make sure provincial operations continue.

A concerned leader of Western Province who wants his name withheld said the delay will not only affect service delivery in the province, but also affect a wider populace who depend on the provincial government services one way or the other.

“If we look at the issue carefully, we are heading into a disaster; delay of election means provincial services will be stalled, no budget to immediately bring services back to operation and the longer it takes, it will bring more challenges,” he said.

The concerned leader said the Ministry of Provincial Government must quickly look into the issue so that provincial operations continue as normal while waiting for fresh provincial election.


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