Thursday, 23 July 2009 1:05 PM

Moves to Sabotage Political Integrity Bill

One of the CNURA Government's key policy initiatives, the Political Integrity Bill, will be sabotaged from within the Government itself, reveals a government insider.

The insider revealed to the National Express Newspaper that moves by the Government caucus to postpone introduction of the Bill in Parliament until September for "wider consultations" is a cover up for the true motives of some members within the ruling CNURA government.

According to the insider, negotiation has been in place for some time now within the government ranks to defeat the Bill if tabled in Parliament.

"The real motive is not because of lack of consultations but an underground move spearheaded within the Government Caucus to defeat the bill if it is brought before Parliament," the Government insider told the National Express.

The insider said the "rebels" come from two main camps: those who prefer the "loose system" within Parliament to give room for easy money, and those who want to be Prime Minister.

"The system, once in place, stipulates that only political party leaders contest the election of the Prime Minister."

The Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, John Keniapisia, confirmed this while at the same time adding that he is aware of some MPs, including Government ministers and the Caucus, working on plans to maintain the status quo in Solomon Islands politics.

Mr. Keniapisia said that he is aware that some MPs, including Ministers and the Government Caucus, have been negotiating with each other on how to defeat the integrity Bill if it is introduced in Parliament.

"Such action is uncalled for because the Bill has already been approved at the Cabinet level and reasons for rejecting the bill is extremely absurd. This is because the people of Solomon Islands want to see a radical change and there must be a strong political party system in the country from now on."

Mr. Keniapisia said that the Bill will not be tabled in the current sitting of Parliament to allow the Government to do more research until September when Parliament resumes.

The current meeting will not end this month, but adjourned until September to allow Parliament to undertake some research on the subject before it is re-submitted to Parliament.

A one-day seminar will be conducted purposely to gather views from members of the public on the proposed Political Integrity Bill.

Mr. Keniapisia said a draft copy of the bill will be sent overseas for comments from those who have "sound experience on political party system".

"Commentators from the Australian National University (ANU), Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the University of the South Pacific in Fiji will be given the opportunity to express their views on the Government draft."


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