THIRTY one former members of parliament will be contesting this month’s National General Elections as Independent candidates.
This number however has raised serious questions as to why the last house has passed the Political Parties Integrity Bill.
The Solomon Star has uncovered that only seventeen former MPs have registered under a party.
Whilst the rest of the former MPs will be contesting as independent candidates after two former MPs have died making the total number to stand at 48.
This astonishing result has posed serious questions as to why the government has been very vocal to passing the Bill, when actually nearly two thirds of the former House has decided to contest the coming elections as independent candidates.
Whilst it is the right of each candidate to contest the election as independent candidates, this has already raised public criticism stating this does not reflect well of the country’s former leaders who have passed a bill they themselves do not honour.
This gave rise to doubts as whether these leaders who have supported the bill to pass it in Parliament truly understand the decision they make.
“These leaders are making a mockery of themselves and the people they represent. They fail to understand the reality and importance of such Bill. It shows these leaders were forced to accept what they don’t like just to please their leader,” A senior public officer who wishes to remain anonymous said.
The top public officer said, the last government has passed so many Bills that even the former MPs themselves do not really know the consequences and advantages of these Bills for the country.
“They pass it like dumb people who never knew a single thing. But we cannot rule out our politics because when the leader is pressurising the team to follow, they just have to follow otherwise they will lose out on the benefits,” the public servant said.
Figures have shown that out from the twenty four ministers in the last ruling NCRA government, thirteen of them will run as independent candidates.
They include, Dickson Mua, Elijah Doromuala, Bradley Tovosia, Joseph Onika, Samuel Manetoali, Hypolite Taremae, Walter Folotalu, David Tome, Manaseh Maelanga, Commins Mewa, Christopher Laore, Lionel Alex and Charles Sigoto.
The other eleven that will contest under parties include Gordon D Lilo, Silas Tausinga and Stanley Sofu to contest under the Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement (SIPRA).
Clay Forua is contesting under the National Transformation Party of Solomon Islands (NTPSI), Rick Hou, Peter Tom, Alfred Ghiro, Moses Garu, Seth Guguna and Connelly Sandakabatu to contest under Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) and Dick Ha’amori who is contesting under the Direct Development Party(DDP).
“So this latest revelation should allow the public to question their former members who are contesting to seek their reason as to why they decide to contest as independents, when they are the ones supporting the Political Parties Integrity Bill to pass in parliament a few months ago,” the senior public officer said.
He added that if MPs don’t want the Bill to be passed at the first place, they should vote against it to make sense, if they decide to contest as independent candidates.
“It makes a lot more sense for the former opposition MPs who are against the Bill to contest as independent candidates than for former government ministers and backbenchers,” the senior government officer added.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA