By Gary Hatigeva
THE 50 selected youth participants for this year’s 4th National Youth Parliament (NYP) session were given the opportunity to learn firsthand the existence and importance of the three arms of the state.
The 4th NYP started three days ahead of the debate proper to give time for participants to cover key components of parliament and its function, while at the same time understand the roles of parliamentarians.
Yesterday’s session comes as part of these ongoing trainings and preparations for the major debate session due to take place in the chamber of Parliament this Thursday.
Youths were told that the three arms operate as one or are interconnected but are three separate arms known as the separation of powers, and that these are the pillars that the country is operating under.
They are the Legislature, which represents the members of Parliament, the Executive representing the Government, and the Judiciary, which represents the Courts system of the country.
Participants also learnt that one arm cannot interfere with the function of another in their respective roles and responsibilities but can do check and balances on each other.
As Youth Parliamentarians or representative in Parliament, participants get to understand the roles they are taking on as one arm of the system, which is being a legislature.
They were also given the history of the establishment of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, with insights to how the term parliament came into existence and used by countries that have parliaments, which was derived from a French term of a place where people get together to debate or discuss issues.
Youth participants also get to further understand the insights of a parliament, its structure and how meetings are coordinated for both parliament debates and committee proceedings, where the Speaker is the head of parliament, gets to preside over meetings of the house.
It was also highlighted during these presentations that MPs are not there to supply copper and materials but to represent the voice of his or her electorates to legislate issues affecting the people and the country.
In the presentation, it is revealed that parliamentarians are to represent all Solomon Islanders through their elected MPs and voice of the people
Youths were also informed that only parliament can make, enact, amend and repeal laws governing the country.
Youths were also told of the three groups that make up parliament, and they include the independent, opposition and the government benches.
They have also learnt that within the government bench has two groups of MPs, which consists of government ministers or ministers of the crown, and government back benchers.
Participants were also informed of the importance of making numbers to rule or form government in parliament, a process they will cover in the final day of this program, before the debate session.
Youths get to understand the roles and responsibility of the opposition group, who according to parliament facilitators, does a check and balance on government’s legislations and give alternative views on laws and issues brought for parliament’s deliberations.
Participants also covered ‘The Experiences and Application of Parliamentary Democracy in the Solomon Islands’ during yesterday’s session and the two major topics according to these youths, have really given better insights to what makes the country a nation under a democratic governance system.
Participants and other youth Organisation reps asked questions and other matters of related to parliament and the independence of the three arms.
The session according to organisers, was very encouraging as most the participants were eager to understand parliament and have more formal understanding of governance, which they (organisers) are anticipate a very good debate session comes Thursday.
The NYP is expected to debate a number of topics during this week’s sessions, but are mainly prepared or geared to dig deep into debating the topic, which looks at ‘Introducing Compulsory Voting in Solomon Islands for the sake of peace-building and social inclusion’.
As for today’s session, youth parliamentarians continue with their preparations, and are expected to cover Parliamentary Committees by get the feel of being part of this procedure.
They will also be covering the electoral process, a sample of how motions are brought before parliament for deliberations, and discuss matters surrounding Youth Affairs, both locally and internationally.