BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
FORMER Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has confirmed he will contest the by-election for the Gizo-Kolombangara constituency.
However, Mr Lilo has raised concerns on the government’s delay in setting a date for the by-election.
The Gizo-Kolombangara seat has been vacant since November last year after MP Jimpson Tanangada lost the petition case against him by Lilo.
Speaking to Island Sun yesterday, Lilo describes the delay as unfair and unreasonable.
He highlights that the longer the delay the more the people of Gizo-Kolombangara are denied their constitutional rights to being represented in parliament.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr George Palua said the Gizo-Kolombangara by-election date will be set between April and May if the Government decides for it to take place.
“But all depends on the new voter’s registration list to be available around the 3rd of March this year as well as budget,” said the PS.
But, Lilo emphasises that election spending is statutory by virtue of constitute and should be charged automatically to the consolidated fund.
“Cabinet or the Executive Government should not have rights to interfere but the Electoral Commission and Governor General (GG) only.
“The delay is totally unfair and unreasonable as we have been denied our constitutional rights to be represented in our democracy and government the fundament of our sovereignty.”
Lilo had filed a petition after he lost to Mr Tanangada in the 2014 general elections.
And, three years later, the High Court ruled Tanangada guilty of bribery and treating people by using agents to supply food for voters during campaign.