OPPOSITION Leader Hon Matthew Wale has questioned the Prime Minister as to why he rushing the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2022 to extend Parliament and for whose interest.
The Prime Minister announced in Parliament last week that the Bill would not go through the Bills and Legislations Committee (BLC) and expected to be debated and voted in Parliamentary tomorrow.
But the Opposition Leader in a recent media conference said why is the Prime Minister rushing the Bill to undermine our parliamentary democracy.
“The Prime Minister obviously is not interested in good parliamentary practice and that is why he wants to shortcut the parliamentary process. This is an abuse of process and sets bad precedence for the future,” he said.
Hon Wale said no government or Prime Minister should see it necessary to shortcut or undermine our country’s democratic parliamentary process, especially in a mater of such gravity.
“This is a serious constitutional amendment that affects the life of the house. So why the rush? For whose interest?” he questioned.
The Opposition Leader said the Constitutional Amendment Bill is a serious matter that all MPs have a vested interested in and views of stakeholders and citizens on this matter are equally important and must be taken into account.
“This is not an isolated decision. The Prime Minister has been ignoring views from people in a lot of his decisions in the past. This continuous no care attitude is not good for social cohesion. He is pushing people to the edge,” he said.
Hon Wale adds the Government clearly has the numbers to pass the Bill so why disregard the normal parliamentary process for BLC to carry out its work and allow people to participate and express their views.
Meanwhile, in a press conference yesterday the BLC chairman Hon John Maneniaru has expressed his disappointment to the Prime Minister for hijacking his committee’s mandate.
Hon Maneniaru said he had written to the Prime Minister and also met with him last week to seek financial support from the government for BLC to carry out its work.
“I have met with the Prime Minister and his officials at the Parliament conference room and presented BLC’s submission. The Prime Minister responded positively and assured me that I have come to the right guy,” he said.
The BLC chairman said as part of their work they have also written to all 49 MPs to submit their consultation reports.
However, Mr Maneniaru said the Prime Minister’s Office has responded to BLC stating that Government MPs will not submit their reports as it is only for their internal deliberations.