The caretaker government has come under heavy criticism for the delay in announcing the date for the upcoming national general election.
Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) president yesterday said delaying the announcement does not reflect well the government’s intention of passing the Political Parties Integrity Bill 2014.
“The delay in the announcement does not reflect well of the government’s intention to pass the Bill. It seems the motive behind the Bill is only for political gain. It seems the government is playing around with the parliament in passing Bills without its real intention of moving this country forward,” Charles Dausabea said.
Dausabea highlighted that although the announcement of the election date should be kept secret, it should be made earlier to enable intending candidates and political parties more time to prepare, analyse, assess and identify their best candidates to contest the coming election.
He stressed that keeping candidates and political parties in suspense will open up room for corrupt practices in dishing money for favourable gain.
“Announcing the date in advance gives enough time for those political parties who have already met the criteria to prepare. It will also help eligible voters to make their own assessments and decide who to vote for.
“But to leave it to the last minute like what is happening now only deprive people of their rights to choose their good leaders since those who have money will now play,” Dausabea added.
The president described the last parliament as a disgrace in the political history of this country.
“This delay is letting political parties down,” Dausabea said, adding in order for good candidates to be identified, people need enough time as well as political parties to identify which of their candidates best suits to contest.
Dausabea said to give candidates and political parties only 42 days before the election is not fair taking into account the geographical setting of this country and preparations involved.
“The late announcement will disadvantage others while allow those business men who have the money will play their game,” the MMF boss said.
He added having only five political parties now registered does not reflect well of the Political Parties Integrity Bill which he said does not meet its purpose.
“People of this country need to decide a government that is transparent, accountable and have the political will and vision to move this country forward and not like the past cowboy government. Who parasites on people’s resources for their self gain and forgets about the nation,” the MMF president said.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA