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Thursday, August 07, 2008

SIG delegation satisfied with learning trip on PNG integrity law

By Julia Daia Bore

A Solomon Islands delegation in PNG this week has expressed satisfaction over its meetings with PNG authorities on the laws governing political parties and candidates.

Solomon Islands High Commissioner to PNG Bernard Bata’anisia said the information gathered would be used as guidelines for a proposed Bill to be introduced in the Solomons parliament in November.

Solomon Islands has been experiencing continuous political turmoil since 1998, culminating in MPs constantly changing political affiliations, numerous prime ministers taking office over a short period of time and violent ethnic clashes among the community.

In fact three prime ministers have been voted into office in this term of parliament. Snyder Rini was given the top post after the April 5, 2006, general elections which lasted for only a week.

Rini’s election also led civil unrest with the burning down of Chinatown and many other business complexes. Widespread looting was also reported.

Manasseh Sogovare succeeded Rini in a vote of no-confidence on April 26, 2006, and he too was brought down in a no-confidence motion on Dec 13 last year by prime minister Derek Sikua, a former minister in the Sogovare regime.

Mr Bata’anisia said the situation was very similar to PNG until the latter brought in the integrity law, which had seen stability in all facets of the nation’s political game.

“We have similar experiences; these meetings with relevant organisations in PNG will assist the Solomon Islands formulate its own policy on the integrity of political parties and candidates,” Mr Bata’anisia said.

The Solomons delegation comprises law reform commission chairman and former judge Frank Kabui; former parliament speaker Paul Tovua, special secretary to the Solomon Islands PM John Keniapisia and Christopher Waiwori, political adviser to Sikua.

They have met with Dr Alphonse Gelu of the National Research Institute, Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen and elections lawyer Prof John Nonggorr. Tomorrow, they meet Chief Ombudsman Chronox Manek and his officers.

Source: The National

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