—TSI Survey hits hard on Parliament extension plans
By EDDIE OSIFELO
A survey carried out by Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) found that majority of total respondents (83 percent) strongly disagreed with the proposed extension of Parliament from four to five years.
Only four percent strongly agree with the proposed extension.
The result shows that be it in their age groups, children (13-18 year), youths (19-34 years), adult (34 plus years), men and women, the majority do not believe extending Parliament term from four years to five years is a good idea, nor is it in the interest of citizens, country, and democracy.
“In their view it will set a very bad precedent.
“Extension of term of Parliament will not make any difference in terms of programme implementation and any positive change nor delivery of services,” survey found.
Many believe the reasons given by the DCGA Executive Government are not good enough and irrelevant.
“The Constitution is the Supreme Law of Solomon Islands and should not be tampered with for an Executive Government that has become too comfortable in its number and has failed miserably to consult the citizens on its many controversial policies and decisions.
“It is of great concern to them that they are being left out of the debate nor consulted,” the survey stated.
“This is an election issue and a matter best left to the people to decide, at election time.
“DCGA political party must put this policy in this election campaign policy and platform to the people at the 2023 National General Election,” Survey said.
“It should not pre-empt the right of the voters to choose.
“It is irresponsible and unacceptable to jump the gun before election 2023,” it said.
“A government that is irresponsible, non-transparent, and with no accountability to the people of Solomon Islands is not needed in Solomon Islands.
“A “representative government” as always argued by the Prime Minister but one that is manipulated by him and the politicians in his camp for their own political agenda, an Executive Government that got into power as a result of undue influences on elected representatives,” it said.
Furthermore, of the Facebook groups 930 respondents, 94 percent were against the proposed extension of Parliament and only 4 percent agree with the proposal.
TSI conducted the public opinion survey on the opinions and views of the citizens of this country on the proposed extension of the parliament from 4 to 5 years between March 16 to 1st April 2022.
The interviews were by phone, face to face and online reaching 1,248 respondents.
On Facebook group pages 930 respondents were reached. A total of 2,178 respondents participated in the survey.
Of the 1,248 respondent’s 42 percent are female, and 58 percent male.
On age cohort’s 9 percent of the respondents are age groups 13-18 years (children), 50 percent are age group 19-34 years (youth), and 41 percent are age group are 34 plus years (adults).