“Time is too short”

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Minister for Infrastructure Development Manasseh Maelanga.
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Parliament resumed only to be adjourned to October

By Gary Hatigeva

Opposition Leader Manasseh Maelanga raises concern that time is short for government to deal with issues of national interest as parliament is further adjourned.

LEADER of the Official Opposition Group and Member of Parliament for East Malaita, Manasseh Maelanga is concerned that a lot of time has been wasted with so many adjournments, forcing parliament and the current government little time to deal with businesses of importance to the country.

The Opposition Leader made this strong statement during yesterday’s debate session of a Motion of Special Adjournment that was proposed by the government.

With less than three months before its dissolution, parliament was only resumed yesterday, only to be adjourned again to October 31, 2018, with intentions to give time for the government to complete its remaining businesses, which are deemed crucial for the 10th Parliament to deal with.

Before moving the Motion of Special Adjournment, the Acting Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare added that adjourning the sittings will also give a little more time for the Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC), to complete its inquiries into the remaining Bills that have been put before it for scrutiny.

“The reasons are obvious, as we intended to deal with the Traditional Governance and Custom Facilitation bill 2018, which the BLC is still working on it and there are also other bills for the committee to clear, so that parliament can sit down and deliberate on,” the Acting PM explained.

The Acting Prime Minister, Manasseh revealed that initially, the schedule was for parliament to resume and later adjourn to the 7th of November, but due to the unfinished proceedings by the BLC into some of what the PM (Ag) described as, very crucial bills, the government had to propose for an early resumption.

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“We realised that if we went ahead with the earlier proposed date, we will only have about five weeks to deal with all remaining government businesses, which meant the time will be too short.”

“So by taking the date back to the 31 of October should give a little more time, where we can have at least the whole of November and two weeks into December, so that by the 17th or 18th December, parliament will be dissolved”.

The Acting PM then thanked Members of Parliament from both the Opposition and the Independent groups for their views and support towards the special adjournment, which he thought was very important.

However, the adjournment would mean the timeframe is now squeezed to exactly one and half month for the house to deliberate on all relevant businesses, which include a number of bills that have already been through their second reading on the floor of parliament.

Additionally, the adjournment will also allow for the government to deal with current pressing issues, which Island Sun understands, included the Electoral Registration process that continues to make negative headlines, since it started over three weeks ago.

The issue was also highlighted during the debates and a lot of Members are concerned that the matter has now gone out of hand as most of the activities connected to, are said to be illegal and the government is urged to deal with before matters get any worst.

With its adjournment, the Bills Committee is expected to resume its enquiries into the remaining government bills, particularly the Traditional Governance and Custom Facilitation Bill.

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