By EDDIE OSIFELO
MEMBERS of Parliament need to listen to their people when deciding to defer the National General Elections from 2023 to 2024.
Chairman of Transparency Solomon Islands, Frank Paulsen stated this following legal argument that Members of Parliament are mandated to represent the people after the election and do not need to consult people on policy matters.
Responding to a question during the talk back show on Sunday, Paulsen, a lawyer by profession, said it is true they (MPs) are the voice of the people, “but one thing people in authority or our MPs must understand is they cannot operate in isolation or in a vacuum”.
He said they (MPs) must be sensitive of the fact that they are leaders of the people.
“They must also understand they exercise authority where people give to them.
“It does not mean they take it forever,” he said.
Paulsen, former Chairman of Law Reform Commission, said this is the kind of inalienable rights that people have that cannot be taken away by anybody.
“You are just exercising the voice and mouthpiece of the people, so you must listen to people.
“I think it’s common sense and logic that you stay there, you represent the people, you listen to people,” he added.
“I remember one Parliamentary debate where one MP said his chiefs said he must not support one certain agenda in Parliament.
“He (MP) goes against that.
“How I see it is irresponsible.
“What if the people decide not to vote you next time around?
“Not try to put fence between people and yourselves because you are the property of the people,” he added.
Furthermore, TSI executive officer Ruth Liloqula said the big question here is the Prime Minister stood as Independent.
She said Our Party was formed after elections.
Our Party is led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
“This issue of extension of Parliament was not a campaign issue.
“Therefore, on this very issue, they are not the voice of the people,” she said.
“This is why they need to consult and take it as an election for the next Parliament and not this Parliament.
“How can you talk about something big like this to change constitution and say voice of people? she asked.