The Leader of the Independent Group, Hon John Kuku calls on the National Government to promptly slam the door on its idea to extend the life of the National Parliament from 4 to 5 years.
Hon. Kuku said that it is crucial the government objects to its own proposal, while it is at its planning stage, given that rationale against it outweighs those for it and the wide-spread outcry from all sectors of our society.
He said: “The justification cited by the government to extend the life of the house is feeble, inadequate and simply outlandish if it were simply because of the 2023 Pacific Games.”
“This is simply outweighed by the simple fact that the Pacific Games Council had already made the decision to move the Mini Games to 2022, which simply means that the writing is already on the wall, that a similar decision could be made towards delaying the Pacific Games.”
The Leader said that while such an assessment is inconclusive, the matter is best left to postponement because to assume that our pacific friends will be willing to spend their money in our country when we are in Post-Covid 19 and recovery mode is misguided.
“Any government must work in accordance to the rules, regulations and principles that are laid out in the constitution. The constitution is a national treasure and must be respected and guarded. Any amendment to the constitution must be to advance its principles. The proposed amendment is an extension to accommodate a two weeks event. By extending parliament for an additional year is delaying the right of the people to choose who should govern them for another year.
Clubbing one’s way to tamper the constitution on a very trivial matter and reason is equal to theft. The constitution belongs to the people of Solomon Islands.”
“In this regard, it is only appropriate that we take the matter by way of a plebiscite or referendum so that our people can have a say on the proposed amendments.” He said.
The leader added that if we consider our regional surroundings, most of our neighbors had opted for a 3-4 life term for their legislatures, hence the idea of pulling it to 5 would seem bizarre at best.
“The best option to take in order to accommodate what the DCGA wants: the SP Games 2023 without tampering our constitution is to have an early dissolution of the National Parliament rather than extending it for another year. This is the option I recommend and call on government to consider and make preparations now.” He said.
-OLIGP Press Release