PARLIAMENT has passed the Honiara City Council (Amendment) Bill 2023 without any amendment yesterday.
The passage of the bill means some sections of the Honiara City Council Act of 1999 have been changed.
The changes include the holding of Honiara City Council (HCC) on the same day with that of the Provincial Assembly and the National Parliament and this synchronised election will begin in the first quarter of 2024.
The changes also include the empowerment of the Minister of Home Affairs to set the date for any election or bye-election based on the advice of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC).
During the debate of the amendment bill, many Members of Parliament (MP) commended the bill as a legislative mechanism that will ensure a high turnout of voters to vote for the councillors and also to reduce the high cost of running separate elections for the National Parliament, City Council and Provincial Assemblies.
The term of the current HCC will end later this month and a caretaker executive is expected to take charge of HCC until the next election is held next year.
Other provincial governments are also expected to be dissolved in the coming months and await the 2924 synchronised elections.
Minister of Home Affairs, Chris Laore, in his speech thanked the Bills and Legislation Committee for their ‘hard’ work in scrutinising the bill.
There are also some recommendations being endorsed by the committee which the responsible authorities will address.
Parliament has been adjourned for a week and will resume on Monday 15May.
This is to allow the Bills and Legislation Committee to deal with a number of bills that need to be prepared for the Second Reading in Parliament.
By MOFFAT MAMU