The Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA), which makes up of the major churches in the country today issued a statement declaring that it does not welcome the idea of the extension of parliament from four to five years.
In a public statement today, SICA said: “The churches do not welcome the idea of the extension of parliament from 4 to 5 years per term, but would like to see the National General Elections (NGE) taking place next year 2023, few months before the Pacific Games in November.”
The statement was released by SICA General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Edward Kolohai, on behalf of the SICA Executive Members: Rev. Armstrong Pitakaji – Chairman (United Church in the Solomon Islands) Reverend Bishop Eric D. Maefonea – Vice Chair (South Seas Evangelical Church) Archbishop Leonard Dawea – Member (Anglican Church of Melanesia) Archbishop Christopher Cardone – Member (Catholic Church, Solomon Islands) Rev. Dickson Manongi – Member (Church of the Nazarene) Pastor Silent Tovosia – Observer Status (Seventh-day Adventist Church).
In the statement, SICA said: “We feel that the national constitution and the Pacific Games if weighed on a scale, the national constitution would have more weight than the Pacific Games. Therefore, we feel that only the Pacific Games can be pushed forward to take place in 2024, but not the NGE.”
SICA adds: “We feel that the Pacific Games (or any other games for that matter), is not in a better position to influence and change our national constitution, we need to avoid that bad precedence.”
SICA’s position today adds to the voice of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SICCI) who also opposed the extension.
The government is sending its MPs to their constituencies to consult them on the proposed extension.
SICA said the current unstable situation in the country, the churches feel that it is their democratic responsibility to share their concerns on behalf of the people of this nation to the government.