Tuesday, 19 June 2007 9:30 AM

Western Province Prepares for Federalism

The Premier of Western Province, Alex Lokopio, stated that his government is in the process of setting up a State Management and Transitional Unit.

Lokopio revealed that the Unit will prepare and manage the smooth transition of powers and functions to the State. Mr Lokopio said although some aid donors question the wisdom and the necessity of having the federal government system, there should be no turning back. "The majority of people in the country prefer this type of government because their resources, culture and local leadership can be truly respected and owned," he said.

The announcement by Premier Lokopio came after the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare officially launched the Constitutional Congress. Alex Lokopio expressed great satisfaction at Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare for his strong leadership in pursuing the introduction of the State Government System in Solomon Islands.

He said the Western Province is ready to submit its preparation to the forthcoming National Constitutional Congress (NCC) for discussion. Mr Lokopio has however made it clear that the Western Province will be asking for the highest form of autonomy to be granted to its people and region.