MALAITA Premier Daniel Suidani took time during the Malaita 39th Second Appointed Day anniversary to express his disagreement with continuing reference to provincial governments as mere agents of the national government.
The Malaita Provincial Premier is of the view that those who refer to provincial governments as agents of the national government have taken the meaning of the two governments out of context.
Premier Suidani said both the national and provincial government are set by the National Constitution and both are elected governments.
He said both governments have the duty to promote constitutional governance and the desire for public order.
“Fellow Malaitans let’s remind ourselves that the relationship between the national government and the provincial government under the current legislative framework is one that is set by the National Constitution of Solomon Islands and the Provincial Government Act 1997 and other relevant laws of Solomon Islands.”
“I believe that the appropriate expression of the nature of these two types of government are set out under these laws for the establishment of the national and provincial government. They are purposefully meant to promote constitutional governance and a genuine desire for public order for Solomon Islands and its citizens.”
“Fellow Malaitans, to set the records straight, I want to express here today that the continued use of the term Provincial Government being an agent of the national government has been taken out of its real context and needs to be grounded properly in its appropriate context.”
“For all purpose, the provincial government is formed from an elected provincial assembly.”
“Therefore, by the virtue of it being an elected government, it would be belittling and even offensive in my view to treat the elected government of the provinces as mere agents of the national government.”
“Lest we forget, the Provincial Governments are legitimately elected governments.”
“In this regard, they should not be seen as merely agents when it comes to the relationship between the national government and the provincial government.”
“In fact, the word agent is not even mentioned in the Provincial Government Act.”
“The existence of the provincial governments should not be termed as agents of the national government but more rather as governments of the provinces.”
This is the proper narrative of the provincial government as clearly stated in Section 144(2b) of the of the National Constitution.
“Referencing the provincial government as an agent of the national government does not only diminish its proper status as provided for in the aforementioned provisions of the National Constitution but an attempt to downplay the important place and function of the provincial government system of Solomon Islands.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we see today as a result of the agent narrative, not much thought has been given unto ensuring our provincial governments are fully supported to provide the responsibilities expected of them. In the end, Solomon Islands and Malaita province for that matter had been in stagnation mode since they were established.”
By WILSON SAENI
Solomon Star, Auki