VOTERS have been urged to ask tough questions to their intending independent candidates who will be contesting the upcoming national general election.
General Secretary (GS) of the Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) said people need to ask their candidates why they decide to run as independent candidates and not joining a party.
Charles Ashley said it would be very interesting to know what answers independent candidates will give to their voters during their campaign despite the passing of the new Political Parties Integrity Bill 2014.
Mr Ashley said the new law supports the formation of parties aimed at forming a stable government.
“Voters must watch out for those independent candidates because the Bill does not allow independent candidates to form a government. But what can happen is these independent candidates might join a minority party to form the government. But was this the whole intention of passing the Bill in the first place?” Mr Ashley asked.
He said voters should ask their independent candidates why they want to contest that way.
“How can a good government be formed by independent candidates who have no manifesto or policy to govern?”
Mr Ashley said whilst it is the right of candidates to contest independently, it will not reflect well of a good and responsible leader because it shows these candidates have no vision to serve this country but to serve themselves and please their business associates.
“I therefore call on voters to be mindful of these candidates because they are the ones who will play with money since they have large sums of money at their disposal,” Mr Ashley added.
The GS stressed that if candidates truly have vision to serve and transform this country for a better and prosperous country where all people can live happily and peacefully, then they should have a manifesto whereby guided them to achieve that.
“Otherwise independent candidates would clearly be contesting to serve their own interest despite the passing of the Political Parties Integrity Bill.
“Why wouldn’t candidates belong to a party? That shows a character of a poor leader who has no vision and plans or principles to guide them if they come into parliament,” Ashley said.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA