By EDDIE OSIFELO
SPECIAL Secretary to Prime Minister, Albert Kabui has hit back on Opposition paid advert on Island Sun on 10th June, describing it as “misleading”.
The Opposition highlighted six deceptions of DCGA’s strategy to extend Parliament.
First, the Opposition states the consulted groups have opposed the DCGA proposed extension.
Speaking to media yesterday, SSPM Kabui said as stated in previous press conference, Attorney General and him have consulted with Solomon Islands Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Solomon Islands Christian Associations and Premiers.
He said there are deferring views, and not all parties oppose it.
“There was no resolution made by the groups as position of the group to say oppose.
“Opposition not clear, it is for deferment to 2024 or to five years,” he said.
Kabui said the Executive government is not bound by law to consult any person or group when it comes to any policy formulation and bills, but executive as practise consult people.
He based his argument on Section 140 of the National Constitution.
“Opposition groupsopposed the consultation, they are insinuating that this is case the action of Executive to bring anything to Parliament is unlawful, that is the insinuation I take from the statement,” he added.
The Opposition states on the advert that Pacific Games 2023 is not a constitutional requirement for extending Parliament.
“I don’t see anywhere in constitution that lay the requirement for extension of Parliament, there is none.
“I don’t understand why they are saying, Pacific Games is not a constitutional requirement,” he said.
“What is a constitutional requirement, where in constitutional says, nowhere?”
Kabui said the Constitutional requirement to make an amendment is set out under the constitution under Section 61.
He said that is a process and not a requirement.
“To say that PG2023 is not a constitutional requirement for extending Parliament is misleading.
“Parliament has the power to make laws as provided under Section 59. Power to alter constitution under Section 61,” he said.
On the advert, the Opposition also states it is Government’s response to provide the budget for registration. They intentionally did not do so.
Kabui said yes, budget is formulated by government and appropriated by Parliament.
“As we know projected revenue of 2022 is severely affected by Covid 19 and November riots.
“We know November riots cost more than $800 million.
“The move to defer elections is right because our economy is not strong,” he added.
Opposition also states the DCGA lacks political will; it has misused funds; allowed too many exemptions.
“I am not sure where it comes from, but the government is exercising its political will to hold both events, not in one year but close to its other,” Kabui said,
Kabui said when it comes to misuse of funds, if there is evidence report to RSIPF.
Further to that, Kabui said Government has been, as part of its response to negative impacts of covid 19, gives tax exemptions to companies even in difficult times because company employ people to keep their families fed and cloth.
Opposition states the reforms should be ongoing. It is not a last-minute business.
“We do but slow down because of travel restriction, now travel restrictions lifted, Solomon Islands Electoral Commission is going to the provinces.
“To say last minute that is misleading,” he said.
Opposition states DCGA has no respect for political parties. Our Party was registered after elections.
Kabui said to register political party, requirement is set down under Political Parties Integrity Act 2014.
He said Our Party did not manage to register itself before that, so they register after and nothing is wrong with that.
“Actually, the Leader of Opposition Mathew Wale in 2014 took the Political Parties Commission and Registrar of Political Parties to court because he said there is no need to register his political party, Solomon Islands Democratic Party under the Act.
“Wale went to court and lost. As a result, members of SIDP contested in the 2014 national elections as independents,” he said.
Kabui said SIDP registered after 2014 General Elections.
As such, he said Our Party did the same thing as SIDP in 2014.
On the advert also, Opposition states DCGA’s cabinet paper clearly says extension from 4 to 5 years.
Kabui said yes it says that, and as he said in the past and will continue to repeat, they will go back to Cabinet to make the final decision.