Member of Parliament for Aoke Langalanga Matthew Wale has reiterated the Opposition’s strong objection to government’s plan to extend the life of Parliament from four to five years.
Today, in his first ‘Meet the Press’, the Leader of Opposition, repeated his strong opposition to the proposal as the government continues to push to amend the constitution— allowing for an additional year after 2023.
“This matter to extend life of parliament is self serving,” Wale told journalists.
He said the government is pushing and they had recently met with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SICCI)—but 74% of them told the government they opposed to any increases from four to five years.
The MP for Aoke/Langalanga said: “We are a constitutional parliament (democracy). Our system is representative democracy. And the basis of that is government by consent.”
He pointed out that people gave consent for them (politicians) to become leaders and represent them in parliament.
“Out of parliament, we selected and formed the government therefore when we went for election what we told the people they voted us on – which formed the contract or agreement between those who are governing and those who are governed as a consent. Therefore, those who are governing cannot come after election and do things they never asked permission from the voters to do.”
He added: “That’s the basis of our constitutional democracy.”
The leader said this is their concern on the issue of extending of the life of parliament and they would continue to highlight that to the government.
At the same time, he said government’s behavior is not new especially on trust.
“It does not surprise us because this is a government that has lost the trust of the people,” he told journalists.
Also, the MP said the fact that they have not carried out wider consultation with the public on the proposed extension is of greatest concern.
Amongst the reasons for the proposed extension is the Pacific Games which will be held in late next year. The government says it fully supports the games and wants it to be held successfully in 2023.
If the elections were to take place they will happen around middle of next year.
Opposition’s Meet the Press will be a regular feature of the Leader’s diary as announced by his Press Secretary Douglas Marau today.
Today’s Meet the Press was addressed by Wale and Peter Kenilorea Jr, MP for East Are’are.