Monday, 11 June 2007 8:06 AM

Parliamentary Secretaries are Established Legally: PM

The Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, is defiant that the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries is constitutional.

He made the defense when referring to accusations made by some prominent individuals, parliamentary opposition and the civil society on the legality of the appointments.

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

However, Prime Minister Sogavare said the government would not do anything that is unconstitutional. "I want to assure the nation and the media association, that this government will not do anything, unless it can be sure that it is legal and constitutional. I have sought legal advice on the matter before the appointments. I have the general provision of section 44 of the constitution which allows the Prime Minister to create the Posts."

He also stated that in the interest of transparency and good governance, these appointments were incorporated into the parliamentary entitlements regulation, setting out what these people are going to do and the level of remunerations.