Govt recommends federal constitution bill undergo cost analysis first: SSPM


THE draft Federal Constitution needs to go through a cost analysis and peer review before the Government can proceed with it.

This after the draft Bill is still with the Constitutional Review Unit under the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Special Secretary to Prime Minister, Albert Kabui told media yesterday, a consultant was supposed to come and do a cost analysis, but was deferred due to Covid 19.

He said CRU also is suggesting to get lawyers to have a second look on the bill.

However, the Guadalcanal Post-Conflict, Reconciliation Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (GPCRRRA) petitions to see new Federal Constitution of Solomon Islands tables in Parliament, in the March’s sitting.

This after the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, has deferred the tabling of the Bill twice, last year.

Instead, Sogavare promised Guadalcanal people a timeline of 2026 to finalize all arrangements and see the system fully implemented.

Speaking during their meeting at Kakabona, West Honiara recently, President of Gaena’alu Movement and Member of Provincial Assembly for Moli ward (10), Jerry Sabino, said time for talking is over, they want to see action now.

Sabino said this Government has the two thirds majority to change the Constitution in Parliament.

“We cannot wait for 2026 because of Solomon Islands political history of seeing coalition government formed after elections.

“Our hope is with this government because they have the number now to do anything,” he said.

Sabino said they do not want to see the tabling of the Federal Constitution drags on like the Townsville Peace Agreement, that never being implemented after the signing in 2000.

However, SSPM Kabui said it is not as simple as the Government has the number.

He said this would not mean you amend the Constitution, but you repeal full Constitution.

“So, the draft Federal Constitution, when you repeal the Constitution, technically speaking, when you repeal the whole constitution, it means all the existing structures don’t have legal effects.

“Which means automatically all the new structures in the Constitution need to take effect,” he said.

“So, the question is, are we ready for this to happen?

“Because once we repeal the current constitution and we like new constitution to automatically take place or automatically take effect,” he said.

“What it means is Guadalcanal Province must have a High Court, Director of Public Prosecution, own police force, own medical authority to pay its own nurses and own education authority.

“Do we have that in place or not?” he asked.

Kabui said it’s not a matter about number, there are steps in place.

“It is the question of putting the right institutions in place so that transition period is smooth,” he added.

The draft Federal Constitution was handed over to the Government in 2019 after 10 years of consultation throughout the country.

It aims to change the British’s unitary system to a Republic system.

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