Friday, 23 October 2009 8:49 AM

$50,000 Grant Quashed

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua yesterday has welcomed a High Court decision to quash a Parliamentary Entitlement Commission (PEC) resolution to award a controversial $50,000 to spouses of members of Parliament.

Dr. Sikua has instructed the Attorney General, Gabriel Suri to challenge the constitutionality of the PEC decision in September following a massive public outcry.

The Prime Minister said the CNURA government's move to challenge the award points out his government's none involvement in the Commission's decision as perceived by critics and members of the public.

"The act of the Government in seeking these declarations shows that the CNURA Government is not prepared to accept what is unlawful. I make this statement with all due respect to our constitutional and democratic institutions such as PEC," Dr Sikua said.

In his ruling, Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer has declared that the Commission acted beyond its constitutional powers by awarding the spouse terminal grant of $50,000.

Sir Albert also declared that the Commission acted beyond its constitutional powers by making the PER 2009 to commence retrospectively from 1st April 2009.

Dr Sikua call on people to understand that although the Constitution gives the Prime Minister to appoint the Chairman and two other members of the Commission - neither him nor the Government was involved in the PEC decision.

"The decision by the Cabinet for the Attorney General to seek the declarations from the High Court on behalf of the Government, demonstrates that our Government was never part of the decision making process by the PEC, nor the submissions for the 2009 PER to the PEC," Dr Sikua reiterated.

The Prime Minister strongly called for the understanding of the public and to appreciate and support the decision made by the High Court and that the issues should now be put to rest.


Press Release (Government Communications Unit)

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