Govt to give more powers to provinces: PM Sogavare


Government will give more powers to the provinces preparing them for the federal constitution, prime minister Sogavare told parliament on Thursday.

But, it will take time and more work, he hinted.

He also highlighted his concern on recommendations to amend a section of the constitution.

“The government will commence the process of empowering provinces through the reform of the Provincial Government Act to devolve more powers to the provinces including financial resources and other logistics as a way of preparing the provinces.”

Responding to the speech on the throne on the recommendations by the Eminent Persons Advisory Council (EPAC) and People’s Congress (PC) on the Federal Constitution PM Manasseh Sogavare said the recommendation is problematic.

“… in that it recommends as a starting process, the amendment to section 61 of the constitution to establish the Constituent Assembly which all members of Parliament will be part of to bring the new constitution into force.

“This recommendation overlooks very important considerations and assume that the new constitution is ready to go,” Sogavare said.

Sogavare described the process as “putting the cart before the horse and in that it requires the Parliament to begin the process without the benefit of appreciating what will be getting ourselves into under the new government system”.

“As advised by His Excellency the Government will subject the draft to a peer review and economic analysis,” Sogavare said.

Sogavare adds that the matter is not a simple matter as “our future hangs on it, and the government is not taking the advice lightly”.

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