The meeting started off with Party President Dr. Alice Pollard’s speech, presentation of reports and election of new office bearers.
Party members who were present also have the opportunity to be part of the Policy Dialogue and ask relevant questions to their Wing Leader and Opposition Leader Mathew Wale after he delivered his speech.
SIDP President Dr. Pollard in her speech said SIDP has started off well before and during the 2019 election which resulted in the good number of party candidates who have won in the election.
However, sadly some have left the party following the China switch which is not good for the party.
“We actually have 22 candidates running under our Party during the election where two of which are female.
“We were quite happy about the result as we managed to get 15 of them elected but sadly, eight (8) of them left to join Our Party and we only have Seven (7),” she said.
Dr. Pollard said as a woman taking up such a position, it is an experience for her during the lobbying period especially seeing movements of candidates.
She said grass hopping is one of the challenges that remain high with candidates despite the existence of the Political Part Integrity Act (PPIA).
“To my own observation, the PPIA has no teeth to bite which became one of the great challenges to the political stability of our country.
“Due to weak PPIA, it also affects political parties and their MPs. One can see MPs pursuit more on their interests or personnel gains than national interest,” she added.
She said its time young people also get involved in the political party level as they are the future leaders.
Wing Leader Wale said prior to the 2019 elections, SIDP had run a very effective campaign that spanned the breadth of the country.
“As a result, the party emerged with the highest number of members elected,” he said.
Wale said prior to the elections, of course, many of their ordinary members participated in a series of policy dialogues that informed and shaped the party’s policies that were taken to the national electorate in the elections
“To my knowledge, SIDP was the only party that engaged its members in its policy formulation process.
“This is a strength in our processes as the varied expertise of members were harnessed for the greater good,” he said.
He then offers his gratitude to all members who participated in those policy dialogue forums.
Wale said SIDP could not attract sufficient numbers of MPs to form a coalition government in May 2019 but will continue to dialogue in its policies that help push the country forward.
“As a party, we must reflect on the many lessons from the general elections and the election of PM,” he said.
By IAN M.KAUKUI