Opposition leader Matthew Wale has hit out at the Government on its failure to ensure that the Western and Choiseul Provincial elections occur on the day after dissolution.
“This mess that has left the people of the two provinces confused reflects Government’s incompetency and lack of will,” Wale said in a statement yesterday.
The dissolution of both the Western & Choiseul Provincial Assemblies took place on Monday 13th June 2022.
“As is the common and legal practice, elections for Provincial Governments are usually carried out by the Solomon Islands electoral Commission (SIEC) the day after dissolution,” the Opposition leader said.
He said he understands that the SIEC had already informed the MPGIS several times last year of the need for voter registration and the issuing of an election notice.
“The MPGIS however did not respond to SIEC’s request.
“This mess is a consequence of Government’s incompetency and disregard for the people of Western and Choiseul provinces.
‘The provincial leaders of Western and Choiseul are currently in a state of confusion as to how their provinces will be run.
“They deserve better.
“Consequently, the people of Western and Choiseul provinces are also in a state of worry as to the effect this will have on aspects such as service delivery.
“They too deserve better.”
Wale insists that the way forward involves the Government working together with Provincial Governments and the SIEC.
“A solution to this may be the Minister’s power to extend the life of Provincial Assemblies by setting a new election date no later than 12 months to when elections should have occurred.
“But even this requires prior consultation with the premiers – something that this Government is known for not doing,” Wale stated.
According to the Opposition leader, this overall neglect reflects Government’s insistence that Provincial Governments are mere agents that must respond to Government’s beck and call.
“Government must follow the advice of the SIEC, and to ensure this does not happen again.
“Government must take responsibility for this mess and learn from it. Especially, with the 2023 National General Election fast approaching.”