The Central Islands Province political battle heads for another showdown next week as a second motion of no confidence against Premier Stanley Manetiva in a month is penciled for 1 July meeting and set for debate.
Speaker of the CIP Assembly Francis Moah confirmed to SBMOnline that his office had received the motion signed by eight Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs) and will qualify, under seven days’ rule, for debate on 1st of July.
“I can confirm my office had received the motion and will be debated in a full assembly on 1st July,” Moah said today.
Premier Manetiva also confirmed this morning that he was aware of the motion being presented to the Speaker against his government.
He said had his opponents followed the law they wouldn’t have to go through the process again.
The CIP Assembly upon receiving a petition to hold an urgent meeting earlier this month convened the assembly where a motion was filed and opponents of Manetiva voted him out and a day later chosen a new premier in Polycarp Galaigu.
The Minister of Provincial Government Rollen Seleso on the advice of the AG wrote to the Speaker that the recent election of a new premier was invalid. He went on to say that based on the AG’s advice the motion failed to meet the seven clear days’ requirement and it was called by seven MPAs’ as the absolute majority when eight was required. Seleso further instructed that Manetiva remains in power.
Moah told SBMOnline today that the only question he has is will the eight MPAs’ majority still applies here on the formation of a new government? He said the CIP Assembly has adopted a resolution some 20 years ago that seven is the absolute majority. There are 13 MPAs in the CIP Assembly.
Regardless of that, Moah explained that a total of eight MPAs’ had signed the latest petition unlike the recent one where only 7 MPAs’ put their signatures to the petition calling for the CIP Assembly to meet that resulted in the ousting of Manetiva.
He said the clear seven days’ rule before a motion of no confidence is debated will also be fulfilled and the eight MPAs’ majority was met when eight MPAs’ signed the petition calling for an urgent meeting on 1st July.
Meanwhile Manetiva said he remains the premier as advised by the AG’s Chamber and will face the motion.
However, he stated that whilst there will be a new government there will be no budget for them.
He said the province is currently operating on a contingency warrant (CW) that expires at the end of June.
Manetiva said this will affect the MPAs adding that as to where will their allowances come from and other expenses given that the CW would be lapsed by then.
However, Moah argued that under the Financial Management Ordinance the CW will expire at the end of July.
As a result of the political instability in the province, CIP has already lost $5.6m in funding from the government as they had failed to meet deadline for the passage of the provincial budget.
Seleso had already warned that he would dissolve the CIP Assembly if they fail to resolve their political differences by end of this month.