Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Hon David Tome said matters of discussion at the one-day summit between the Prime Minister and Provincial Premiers will assist in hastening the proposed adoption of a Federal Constitution.
The summit called for by the Prime Minister, Hon Manasseh Sogavare in his capacity as the Minister responsible for Constitutional Reform will be held at the Cabinet Chamber.
Speaking last night at a welcome function for the Premiers at the Honiara Hotel, Minister Tome said, “As the Minister responsible for Provincial Government, I am delighted to welcome you to Honiara for an important Government business and that is to have a conversation with the Prime Minister on the Draft Federal Constitution.”
“I believe the subject matters you will discuss will greatly assist the hastening of the adoption of the Federal Constitution.”
Minister Tome said as his Ministry plays an important role in the adoption of the proposed Federal Constitution and that Provincial Government Act will be the facilitating instrument in the formulation of State Constitutions, it is important that it (Ministry) and the Premiers work together to prepare the Provincial Governments for the changes that will come.
It is after the State Constitutions are in place that the Provincial Government Act will be replaced by a new power relationship specified in the Draft Federal Constitution, he added.
The Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening then explained that the Provincial Government System is not another pathway for attaining autonomy or for establishing Traditional Governance.
He further explained that as a creature of the current constitution, the Provincial Government System will be done away with when the new constitution comes into effect.
In that context, Minister Tome said the work the Premiers have been doing and will continue to do in making sure that the Federal reform succeeds is ‘absolutely’ critical to a country (Solomon Islands) that prides itself in its cultural, ethnic and island diversities.
He then urged the Premiers to work together to achieve a system of government that the people of Solomon Islands have been aspiring for in the last ‘several decades.’
“Let us end the search for autonomy or traditional governance by adopting a federal constitution that will help us achieve such aspirations,” the Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening added.
Press Release: OPMC