Tuesday, 7 August 2007 9:35 AM

Parliament Convenes Today, Motion on Friday

The Solomon Islands National Parliament will convene today in what is expected to be a week of intense lobbying and political maneuvering for the upcoming motion on Friday.

The scheduled meet last month was postponed due to a 'constitutional oversight'. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had said that the delay was to ensure that the proclamation of the resumption of parliament is made by the right authority.

Mr Sogavare pointed out that under the Solomon Islands Constitution, the Governor General is vested with the power to proclaim the date for the resumption of Parliament upon the advice of the Prime Minister. Sogavare said past practice have seen the Clerk to Parliament proclaiming the date for resumption which he said was unconstitutional. While this has been the practice since Independence, Sogavare said it is time to 'put it right'.

The upcoming motion of no confidence, scheduled for this Friday, has many political pundits digging through the short political history of the country, each with their own prediction. If one were to follow the history books, as some have reasoned, then it seems clear that history is not in favour of motions of no confidence, none have been successful. Others reason that the stakes are much higher now, stating that the current government has managed to polarize political support through some of its appointments. The Opposition Group has claimed that the Government will be 'greatly disappointed' on the day of the motion as many will desert them. The Government has labeled the motion a 'waste of time'.

Meanwhile, as far as security is concerned, the new PPF Commander, Denis McDermott, has told Talking Truth last night that there are more than 400 officers available to maintain law and order. He said these officers are from the Solomon Islands Police force, the Participating Police Force and the RAMSI military contingent. He said 170 troops from New Zealand and Tonga are arriving tomorrow, and the Solomon Islands Police force members have been doing joint riot training with RAMSI military and police.

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