Wednesday, 17 September 2008 4:36 PM

Waipora Tells PM to Stop Misleading Premiers

The Acting Leader of the National Parliamentary Opposition Group, Japhet Waipora has accused the Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua of misleading the premiers on the provincial government system.

Waipora was referring to Dr Sikua's speech at the 2008 Premiers' conference underway in Lata, Temotu Province, suggesting that the provincial assemblies are not agents of the central government.

In a statement Waipora said that as a Prime Minister, Dr Sikua should by now understand that under the current unitary system of government adopted by Solomon Islands at independence, the Provincial Governments are mere agents or representatives of the Central or National Government and this is clearly stated in the Provincial Government Act.

He said it was frustrations over this very provincial government system that has given rise to the desire by the people for the nation to adopt a state government system so that each province can have more powers and functions of the Central Government transferred to it.

The West Makira MP said under the present Provincial Government System, powers and functions of the Central Government can only be given to the Provincial Governments through devolution orders passed by the National Parliament through an affirmative resolution.

Waipora said Dr Sikua's misguided statements do not reflect well on him as the Prime Minister and one of the highly educated elites of Solomon Islands as well as his advisers.

The Acting Leader of Opposition meanwhile said it was remiss or careless of the Prime Minister to complement himself for being the first Prime Minister to visit Temotu because the decision for Temotu to host this year's premiers' conference and for the Prime Minister to open the meeting was made by the Minister for Provincial Government in the former Grand Coalition for Change Government and that was Waipora himself.

He said it is the custom of the Premiers Conference that whoever holds the post of Prime Minister will open the annual meeting wherever it is held and hence Dr Sikua's statement was insular.


With National Express