Solomon Islands Prime Minister withdraws controversial bills

Solomon Islands PM. Solomon Star Photo
PRIME Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has withdrawn two of the bills his government brought to parliament after much debate, citing lack of support from MPs.

They are the controversial Political Parties Integrity Bill 2013 and the Constitution (Functions of Electoral Commission) (Amendment) Bill 2013.

Mr Lilo said the Constitution (Functions of Electoral Commission) (Amendment) Bill would require three quarters (38) of the 50 MPs to have it passed.

“Given that numerical requirement, the Government side would not be able to pass the bill,” he said.

He withdrew both bills as a result.

Members of the Opposition have staunchly opposed the party bill, saying it was unconstitutional in its current form.

They argued the party bill cannot stand on its own in its current form; it needs a constitutional amendment bill to be passed first.

Opposition MPs insisted a constitutional amendment bill must be brought along with the party bill if they are to support it.

Mr Lilo previously defended the party bill, saying it does not require an accompanying constitutional amendment, and that it is in line with the constitution.

Withdrawing the bill yesterday, the prime minister said:

 “Unfortunately, we all have our own observations and views and opinions on what we think would be the basis that makes us to make our decision and obviously there are different views on the way that we will go about developing political stability in our country.

“Nonetheless, what is more important is the fact that we are all committed to that cause and how we are going to move forward to make it.”

Mr Lilo said the bills will now be subjected to further consultation.

Solomon Star

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