MALAITA Provincial Premier Daniel Suidani is not shying away from the “bring it on '' statement uttered by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in parliament this week.
PM Sogavare this week was responding to a joint statement by the Premier of Malaita Province Daniel Suidani and Premier of Guadalcanal Francis Sade on their intention of challenging the legality of the Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF) in court.
In parliament this week, Mr. Sogavare challenged the two premiers to take the matter to court by uttering the popular phase "bring it on."
The Malaita outspoken Premier in an issued statement said taking the RCDF to court is giving validity and respect to the constitution.
He said taking the scheme to court is about the legality of the scheme in as far as the Constitution and governance of the country is concerned.
“It is about whether a Constituency as an entity created by the Constitution for a particular function can be given other functions other than it being a creature created for the purposes of electing representatives into the National Legislature,” the Premier said.
“That is the whole intention and purpose of the court challenge,” he added, as he insists that the case is about ensuring what is set out in the Constitution being the highest law of the land is not abused and used for political expediency.
“It is about respect and giving validity to the Constitution and its role as the supreme law of the land.”
The Malaita Premier is of the view that, “Parliament and parliamentarians must know that the Constitution of Solomon Islands is the supreme law and it reigns supreme to all other institutions of the state including the Parliament.”
The Premier went on and reminded the PM that the founding fathers of Solomon Islands believed in the constitution as the foundation for peace, prosperity and good governance where he said the constitution shed light on how the country should be governed.
“Therefore if its principles and establishments are abused for political or other reasons the country will be dearly affected,” he warned.
“This is what I and many other Solomon Islanders including my colleague premier of Guadalcanal are seeing. That the correct and legal purposes of a constituency has been abused and hijacked by leaders for something other than the purpose it has been set out for.”
“In doing so, it affects the institutional set ups of the government, the checks and balance mechanisms and it created a whole new handout mentality on our people.”
He added, similarly it has a disempowering effect on our society and created a wrong perception about the governance of the country.
“All these I believe come about as a result of abusing the principle mandate of a constituency as a representative entity and not a service delivery mechanism nor a developmental one,” he added.
“As I am saying is that the court case is about the legality of the RCFD scheme, it is about seeking the interpretation of the court on whether RCDF as it is and how it is being used by parliamentarians is legal under the Constitution or not.”
The Premier pointed out that leaders must work with the law and not above the law.
“As leaders we must always work with the law. Not above it, not below it but with the law as the law says.”
“All leaders must abide by the rule of law.”
Premier Suidani also went on to say that “It is surprising to note that the proposed court case has somehow gotten to some of our national leaders including the PM and my brother MP for Lau Baelelea.”
“This matter is not about the PM or my brother MP for Lau Baelelea.”
“Rather it is about whether what we are doing is lawful and is within the bounds of the constitution and any other laws through which this country is established and governed,” where he explained that this is the purpose of the taking RCDF to court.
By WILSON SAENI