Friday, 28 November 2008 12:56 PM

White Paper on Political Integrity to be Introduced

The Government will be introducing a White Paper in the current meeting of the National Parliament to give Parliamentarians and the Public the opportunity to look at options that would help Solomon Islands deal with the question of political integrity in the country.

The Prime Minister's Special Secretary, John Keniapisia told the National Express that the White Paper which his working committee has drafted is now complete and it is a matter of allocating time for it to be debated by Parliamentarians on the floor of Parliament.

Mr. Keniapisia said that the White Paper basically invites parliamentary and public
debate on a range of options which the Government has identified through the
working committee.

He said that they are options which the Government could use as a way forward to
deal with issues and problems identified to be the cause of the country's political
instability and relating to the country's entire political system and structures.

"Issues that have been perceived by the people of Solomon Islands to largely
contribute to the political instability in this country" said Mr. Keniapisia during
an interview with the Express.

The Prime Minister's Special Secretary has been heading a working committee
mandated by the Government to look into how the Government could address the
issue of political instability in Solomon Islands, commonly perceived to be relating to the integrity of MPs, their behaviour, and their political groupings.

The working Committee has toured PNG on a study assignment of a political
integrity law in PNG designed to address issues relating to candidates,
political parties, and the electoral process and the movements of MPs after they get
elected into parliament.

The working committee also organized two major conferences during which various
issues relating to the subject were discussed and looked at in details with the help of experts and political leaders in the region.

Mr. Keniapisia said that while the Government has identified possible options
through the work of his committee, it has not made any final decision on what set of
options to take.

He said that after the debate on the White Paper a Cabinet paper would be prepared
taking into account the outcome of the debate. It would then be sent to Cabinet
for its consideration and its conclusions would largely determine the final policy
statement of the Government on the subject and what direction to take.

The working committee also include the Law Reform Commission Chairman, Frank
Kabui, former Speaker of Parliament Paul Tovua and Chris Waiwori of the Prime
Minister's Office Political Office.


Source: National Express

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