In the last few months, the Political Parties Commission has noted various movements of Members of Parliament between political parties.
The PPC is reminding political parties and Members of Parliament that are obliged to comply with the Political Parties Act 2014. MP’s wishing to join a party, change parties or resign from a party must lodge the appropriate documents with the PPC, in accordance with the law.
“We are aware of the talks, rumours and contradictory reporting of MPs party affiliations”, Chairman of the Political Parties Commission Sir Paul Tovua said. “It is the right of every MP to choose, or change, their party affiliation, but this affiliation, if changed, must be immediately registered with the PPC.”
The PPC has yesterday released an update on the current state of affairs regarding registered coalitions under the Political Parties Act 2014.
The release is part of the PPC’s mandate to keep the public informed about the activities of the Register of Political Parties as well as the activities of the Solomon Islands Political Parties.
As of May 24, the Register of Political Parties shows that:
§ 38 Members of Parliament are affiliated to the three parties that make up the Democratic Coalition for Change, the United Democratic Party, the Kadare Party and the People’s Alliance Party.
§ Two parties, the Democratic Alliance Party and the Solomon Islands People First Party are members of the Opposition Coalition.
§ The Solomon Islands Democratic Party has three members.
§ The SIDP is currently not a member of a registered coalition.
§ Hon. Derek Sikua remains the leader of the Independent Group.
The PPC is urging all political parties to make sure that their members are, at all times, compliant with the Act and the Political Parties Integrity Standards 2014. The Integrity Standards are intended to promote good governance and to eradicate political malpractices in Solomon Islands. The Political Parties Integrity Act 2014 gives the PPC the power to suspend or de-register a political party that fails to comply with the Integrity Standards.
“We are calling upon all political parties to make sure that their members are upholding the values and practices outlined in the Integrity Standards”, Sir Paul said. “Under the Integrity Standards, all political parties and their members must uphold certain ‘democracy principles’ including political stability and legitimacy”.
The Integrity Standards also state that political parties must, “embrace free and reasoned debate as the most appropriate means of reaching decisions and of formulating party policy.”
The PPC underlines again that failure to uphold the Integrity Standards will result in suspension. Under the Act, the PPC has the power to suspend a party if it can show that a breach of the Integrity Standards has occurred. Once a party has been suspended, it has three months to ensure compliance, or explain why it should not be de-registered.
It should be also underlined that a party is not able to form part of a coalition while suspended.