ANY regulations decision and or action taken that do not preserve public security or are not necessary to the protection from importation into and the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the Solomon Islands would be outside the scope of the emergency declaration under section 16 of the constitution.
Opposition Leader Mathew Wale made the statement on the floor of Parliament during the debate on the state of public emergency declared by the Governor-General recently.
“Such regulations, decisions and or actions, to the extent they do not relate to those two policy objectives, would be an abuse of the declaration of the state of public emergency,” he said.
Wale said Solomon Islands is still a democracy even in a state of emergency so that all who exercise emergency powers must do so in accordance with the democratic values and ideals we hold dear.
“It is unfortunate that the constitution does not explicitly provide for an oversight mechanism for a period of the state of emergency.
“However, there is nothing preventing the Bills and Legislation Committee from exercising parliamentary oversight over regulation-making during the state of emergency, if it so wishes,” he added.
He then encourages the Bills committee to explore if this will be feasible during the emergency.
“Of course, in an emergency situation oversight must not be obtrusive. It must not impede the speed and effectiveness of government responses in the emergency.
“I suppose we will have to rely on His Excellency to exercise some oversight on the use of emergency powers,” he said.
By IAN M.KAUKUI