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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Solomon government intends to legislate for accountability in NGOs and civil society groups

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

The Solomon Islands government proposes to introduce a legislative framework requiring all non-government organizations (NGOs) and members of the civil society to be accountable.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced the government's intention in parliament yesterday when tabling the motion to end the current parliament session.

He said he wondered why the group demanded transparency on government actions and decisions when their accountability status was questionable.

The Prime Minister described the attempt by the civil society group to petition the government to reverse the appointment of the Attorney General, Julian Moti QC and the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Jahir Khan as ridiculous.

He said claim by the group that it represented the nation was a total joke.

“These people are simply out of their mind or are simply trying to play tough when they really have no support whatsoever from the grassroots and the ordinary people of Solomon Islands.

“The fact of the matter is that they only represent themselves.”

Mr Sogavare said if the civil society group was concerned about the appointment of the attorney general then the best it could do was to assist in answering the 666 questions directed to the Australian Director of Public Prosecution.

He said there was no secret about the appointment of the attorney general and the commissioner of police and hence the government welcomed the group for a ‘one-to-one’ discussion if it really wanted to know the truth.

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