BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
INTERNATIONAL Democracy Day was celebrated in Honiara yesterday with the theme ‘Using the power of democracy to bring about the change we want’
Guest of honour at the event was the Member of Parliament for East Makira, Lily Maefai.
In her speech to mark the occasion Mrs Maefai said the democratic ideal in itself seeks to guarantee equality and basic freedoms, to empower ordinary people, to resolve disagreements through peaceful dialogue, to respect differences and to bring about political and social renewal.
She said democracy is realized not as direct popular control over public decision making, but as control over the decision makers who act in ordinary citizen’s place.
“Democracy is based on the belief that in a government, the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by the people directly or indirectly through a system of democratic representation”, Ms Maefai said.
She said as citizens of a democratic country, democratic powers are vested in us, citizen participation in government.
“Participation is the key role of citizens in democracy, it is not only right but it is our duty, the rights of the minority must be protected, people who are not in power must be allowed to organize and speak out.
“One goal of democracy is to make the best possible decision for the society, to achieve this, respect for all people and their points of view is needed.
“Decisions are more likely to be accepted, even by those who oppose them if all citizens have been allowed to discuss, debate and question”, Maefai said.
International World Democracy Day is celebrated around the world on September 15 each year purposely to uphold and promote democracy.
This year, Solomon Islands through the Political Parties Commission and the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties collaborated with the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and the Solomon Islands National Parliament in taking the initiative to commemorate international Democracy Day.
Ms Maefai also acknowledge those partners and stakeholders for their continuous support