BY BEN BILUA
PREMIER of Western Province has reiterated his call to fast track the federal system of government.
Premier Christian Burlay Mesepitu made the call in the presence of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and government ministers during the second appointed celebration yesterday.
He said Western Province welcomes the government’s undertaking and progress towards the determination for state government system.
Mesepitu also acknowledged the Democratic Coalition Government Advancement (DCGA) under Sogavare’s leadership in recognizing the significance and determination of provinces who have called for self-autonomy through the adaptation of the federal system governance.
“Western Province welcomes the government’s timeline for the transition of existing governance structure to federal system of governance which is set to 2026.
“There are reservations from certain quarters as to whether provinces are actually ready to down the federal system pathway. Such reservations centres mostly on cost implications of adopting and operationalizing such a system, the issue of capacity at the provincial level to administer such a system and other associate issues.
“Such concerns are genuine and the ball is in our court and it is up to us provincial governments to ensure we are ready to take up the challenge. While provinces differ in terms of geography, population, resources, land mass, capacity, infrastructure development and other critical aspects, it does not mean all provinces will attain or adopt the federal system at the same time.
“We can explore options and make our decisions based on which province are most ready or we can deal with the three major provinces first and the rest can follow suit at a later date,” he said.
Mesepitu said the regrettable event which took place at Honiara few weeks ago should provide a catalyst for the country and leaders to stop, think and focus on correct but also effective political directions.
He said the destiny of the people and the country should be built based on the interest of the people as the country continues to experience influence by geo-politics and other global concerns.