BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
MEMBER of Parliament for Aoke/Langa Langa Hon Mathew Wale has exposed serious negligence by the national government towards its provincial counterpart.
A practice which is contributing to a shaky nature of governance of Solomon Islands.
In his contribution to the debate over the provincial government (amendment) bill 2017 yesterday, Wale voiced out what many people fear to be the reality in the system of governance of the country.
The central government has all along been suppressing the provincial government.
Wale explains that the bill being debated both reflects and is a result of bad governance, unnecessary and is the direct result of negligence and irresponsible government.
“During the 2017 budget debate at the end of 2016, we already raised the omission of financial provisions for the two provincial elections expected in 2017, as matters of concern.
“We raised the concern again in committee, then, these elections are not unforeseen. We raised the need for funding provision to be made for updating the voter registration.
“The government, then, promised that funding will be made available during 2017 through a supplementary appropriation bill, and it would be in time to ensure that registration will be complete in time for the provincial elections.
“During the debate and committee on the supplementary appropriation bill, we again raised the concern on the provisions for the two provincial elections.
“Is it a budgeting issue, or is it a result of the cash flow crisis at Treasury? How much money does the government need to conduct these two elections? Why is it so difficult to find the money?
The NDF this year was 13m, distributed amongst a few MPs. Where is the sense of priority here? This is clearly Irresponsible government.
Elections, and their prerequisite requirements, are not matters peripheral to government. They are fundamental aspects of democratic government.
“We wonder why our provincial leaders feel slighted, and complain that central government leaders treat them like extras in movies.
“Provincial government is a critical mechanism to enhance participatory democracy. It hasn’t worked as well as we’d like it to, simply because we ourselves have not tried to make it work. We have complained about the ineffectiveness of the system, but have done little to change it to be better.”