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Monday, November 19, 2007

Solomon Islands' GG reportedly assures opposition of parliament meeting

The Governor General has reportedly assured the Opposition that he would not allow government to spend public funds in 2008 without a parliamentary resolution to empower the finance minister to expend money before a budget is passed.

Sir Nathaniel Waena made the assurance to opposition leader Fred Fono and the groups' lawyer Gabriel Suri yesterday.

Mr Fono says Sir Nathaniel was advised the 2008 budget would not be ready for debate before the end of the year.

He said it was for that reason that the prime minister advised the clerk to parliament to defer a meeting that was scheduled for November 15.

Mr Fono says Sir Nathaniel was advised that in an exceptional circumstance, the finance minister can authorise spending of monies before he reports to parliament within 90 days from the commencement of the 2008 financial year.

But opposition lawyer Mr Suri argued that delay in preparing a budget is not an exceptional circumstance.

Mr Suri told Sir Nathaniel that the only option available to the prime minister is to convene a meeting of Parliament to pass a resolution which would give power to the minister to authorise spending of public funds.

Mr Fono says the Governor General assured them he would ensure a resolution is passed by parliament before the end of the year.

Source: SIBC

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