Friday, 19 December 2008 12:29 PM

Businessman Suggests Option for Government Motion

The government should turn to the Prerogative of Mercy in its efforts to allow former Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza time instead of using the Parliament.

Honiara businessman, Ferris Fera, raised the suggestion following a motion moved yesterday by the Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua seeking approval to delay the time for which the Parliamentary seat of former prime minister Sir Allan Kemakeza is declared vacant, until such time the Court of Appeal decides on his conviction.

Dr. Sikua said Sir Allan has done a lot for the country and it is fitting that Parliament accord him the opportunity to pursue his appeal.

But Mr. Fera says Solomon Islanders will see this as an effort by the Parliament to interfere into the activities of the judiciary.

He says it will also set a bad precedence because it will allow MPs who have committed crimes to continue lodging appeals to enable continuation of their Parliamentary entitlements, even when they serve prison terms.

Mr. Fera says government has all the reason and powers to recommend to the Prerogative of mercy to pardon the former prime minister for the reason stated in Parliament by the Prime Minister when he moved the motion.

He says many Solomon islanders will see that with these Parliamentary standing orders, MPs are above the law unlike ordinary Solomon Islanders.

Mr. Fera says this is why he had suggested to the Constitution Reform team that the Opposition should have a good number of MPs to oppose such motions.

He says as it is, the Opposition is not in any position to oppose such bills because it does not have the number and the government knows that it can push through any bill or motion as it likes.

Source: SIBC

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