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Thursday, August 09, 2007

PM Sogavare seeks court ruling on no confidence motion breach of standing orders against Kenilorea and Huni'ehu

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has served summons on both the Speaker of Parliament Sir Peter Kenilorea and the intending mover of a no confidence motion in the Prime Minister, East Are'are MP Edward Huni'ehu.

Mr Sogavare has filed originating summons with the High Court on Monday in which he wants the court to rule on a number of legal questions relating to the speaker's conduct in relation to issues to be raised in the motion.

He is seeking court to rule on whether Sir Peter has contravened section 94-1 of the constitution and is guilty of misconduct in office when he publicly expressed his personal opinion on a subject matter which will be raised in the no confidence motion.

He is seeking a declaration that the motion contravenes the requirements of standing order 27-three, and is therefore inadmissible.

The Prime Minister is also seeking a declaration that the motion contravenes Standing orders 36-three and 27-three because it raises questions on which parliament has already taken decisions.

Meanwhile, the court action casts doubts on whether the motion will be tabled on Friday.

Mover, Mr Huni'ehu says it is disappointing that the legal advisor to government has issued summons to himself and the Speaker when he should be advising Parliament.

He says he is disappointed that the attorney-general is trying to force his way through by blocking the no confidence motion.

He says the Prime Minister and the attorney-general are relying on irrelevant constitutional provisions.

Mr Huni'ehu whose lawyers have responded to the Prime Minister's summons says if the matter is not heard in court tomorrow, it will be up to the speaker to decide on whether he will still move the motion on Friday.

Source: SIBC

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