By EDDIE OSIFELO
SPECIAL Secretary to Prime Minister, Albert Kabui has questioned the survey conducted by Transparency Solomon Islands.
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 four to five years between March 16 and April 1, 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 respondents 42 percent are female.
On age cohorts nine 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).
Also, the survey uncovered information from public and street discussion on the hidden agendas for the proposed extension of Parliament like the switch from Tawan to China; fear of MPs losing their seats in election; access to Constituency Development Fund; MPs lucrative entitlements and benefits; staying in power for longer; deny citizens rights to vote and influence of loggers and miners.
However, Kabui said they have been telling the reasons why Government wants to delay the National General Elections after the Games.
He said the reason is that they can’t afford to hold two major events in one year.
“We would love to see the survey and questionnaires, whether it’s quantitative and qualitative and how they determine sample population to say the majority of the people.
“I think the process itself needs to be transparent in how you get the opinions of people especially when come to determine issues where Parliament will decide on it,” he said.
Kabui said in social media, one man could have 10 accounts.
“When the process of the survey is not transparent enough, that begs the question of whether the claims are substantive or not.
“TSI needs to provide substantive evidence to show allegations true or not,” he said.
Furthermore, Kabui said the Government would like to talk to TSI and any other organisations.
He said the Government is opened and willing to discuss with the issue.
“What we must understand is that we have elected leaders who we mandated to make decision on our behalf?
“While we open to discussions, it is our institutions like Parliament to make final decision or the Executive Government in terms of policy,” he added.
Kabui said they would be inviting Civil Society Organisations and Non-Government Organisations next week for dialogue like they did with Solomon Islands Christian Association and Solomon Islands Full Gospel Association to hear their thoughts.
“But that does not mean our MPs and the Parliament to act on their opinions, but this depends on individuals MPs,” he added.