Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has told the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission that the government thinking is to extend the current Parliament to 2024.
A statement from his office last night stated that Sogavare expressed his government’s thinking to the Speaker of Parliament, Patteson Oti, who is the chair of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and his team during their briefing with him recently. The National General Election which was held in 2019 is scheduled to take place in 2023 under current laws of the country. The idea of extension has already met with opposition by members of the public. It requires a constitutional amendment to cater for the proposed change.
Sogavare was quoted as saying, the government’s thinking is to extend the current Parliament to 2024. He adds the 2023 Pacific Games will impact on the biometric voter registration.
The question, he adds, is whether “we want the elections every 5 years or only for the coming National General election?”
Meanwhile, on the possible extension of the current parliamentary term by 12 months, Oti said it is important that officials from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPMC) and officers from the Electoral Office meet regularly to have common understanding on the issue to avoid possible impacts on planning for the BRV, commencing in 2022 and election preparation.
Sogavare in Acknowledging the electoral updates has assured the SIEC Chair and members of the Commission that the Government prioritizes the election and its necessary reforms.
“As far as the government is concerned, election is a government priority. The government will be committing funds for electoral reform work in its 2022 budget,” said the Prime Minister.