Saturday, 2 June 2007 7:55 AM

Parliamentary Positions Unconstitutional: Sir Peter

Speaker of the Solomon Islands Parliament, Sir Peter Kenilorea, says that the Government's move to create parliamentary secretary positions for MPs would be in breach of the Constitution.

Speaking to Radio Australia, Sir Peter stated that, "If the question is on the creation of the posts of parliamentary secretaries by the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission, then I'm afraid in my personal view that would be unconstitutional because the Commission is not entitled to create jobs."

Sir Peter says that the role of the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission is to determine remuneration packages for parliamentarians, not to create jobs.

"If the Government wishes to create such posts, they would be constitutional posts and therefore, in my view, it would need substantive amendment of the constitution," he said.

Sir Peter says the national constitution would have to be amended if creating jobs for members of parliament were to be made legal.

The Government has already gazetted the creation of 10 parliamentary positions for members of parliament.