PM: no urgency to extend life of parl

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare clarified in parliament that the proposed policy to extend the life of the current house would go through proper processes and it will not be rushed.

Sogavare was responding to a question by Member of Parliament for East Are’Are Peter Kenilorea Junior on whether or not the reforms currently pursued by government are the basis for the policy direction to extend the life of the current parliament.

In his response, PM Sogavare said it would be narrow to base the reason for the extension of the parliament on the reforms pursued by government, adding that given the right time he will outline the basis for that policy stance.

Already, Cabinet has approved the proposal to extend the life of parliament from four to five years after Sogavare presented a paper to cabinet recently.

The leaked cabinet document stated the life of parliament needs to be extended to give the government ample time to fully implement its development plans and programs.

However, Sogavare said in parliament public consultations have to be done first.

“At this stage the Attorney General (Ag), Special Secretary to Prime Minister (SSPM) and other officials are firming up the consultation process for the proposed policy.

“On prima facie, we will be doing injustice to ourselves and the nation if we go to the polls on 2023.

“However, I will not delve into this until proper consultations will be made to firm up this proposed policy,” he said.

Sogavare said the Government is fully aware that since the extension of the life of parliament will touch on the national constitution, such proposed policy will need to be grounded with solid and valid basis in order to garner two third support in parliament for the amendments of the national constitution and the relevant Acts of parliament.

“In light of that, government will be cautious and ensure that the due process of consultation must take place to ensure peoples’ views and opinions are taken onboard,” the prime minister said.

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