Dear Editor – Please spare me space in your column to contribute to the debate on the current political saga created by ‘grasshoppers’, to use the term your papers have been branding our disgruntled members of parliament.
First, I do not take comfort in blaming the Political Parties Integrity Act 2014 for its shortfalls in preventing the political situation our beloved Solomon Islands is now experiencing.
In the current political situation, I agree there are loopholes in the Act that can be tested in a court of law to qualify or otherwise, the movement of MPs from party to party.
Second, in its advisory capacity, the Task Force Committee on Political Integrity and Stability (2011 & 2012) may also be blamed for a ‘half-cooked job’, to say the least. Or, should it be NACRA to blame?
Yes, of course! Blame it on NACRA, because it was devoid of wisdom when it decided to exclude deterrent provisions in the Act.
That was in spite of the noble intentions of the architects of the Act who were none other than our very own people.
After all, the Bill was drafted using the collective wisdom of our people through the process of nation-wide consultations.
It was also the collective wisdom of politicians, statesmen and women as well as legal professionals from Commonwealth countries both within and outside our region.
Since the current political situation erupted, I was wondering why the PPI Act 2014 cannot prevent MPs crossing the floor at this time, until yesterday when I saw for the first time (through internet), the actual Act passed by parliament.
To my dismay, it did not have the deterrent provisions to prevent MPs from moving from party to party and independent MPs joining political parties after the election of the prime minister.
The widow to do all that should be before the election of the prime minister.
If however, those deterrent provisions were included in registered political party constitutions, then I agree with Henson and Charlie to test that in court.
Also of significant importance, the Draft Bill vested power in our people to remove MPs from being members of parliament through referendum, should they believe their MP no longer has the ability to lead.
The relevant provisions were also excluded in the Act.
Further excluded in the Act were relevant provisions to remove the direct control of constituency funds from our MPs.
For God’s sake, DCCG please review the Act now before more harm than good is done to our nation and people.
God save Solomon Islands!