19 Jul 2006

Solomons PM takes legal advise on RAMSI stance

7:47 pm on 19 July 2006

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says he took legal advice before endorsing the notice that allows the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, to continue operating in the country.

He was commenting after the opposition leader, Fred Fono, said the agreement under which RAMSI remains in the country, is set to expire on Sunday, July 23rd.

And, he said the Facilitation act stipulates that parliament should be given the opportunity to review the act's international assistance notice annually.

Mr Sogavare says, however, that the government is not going to review the operations of RAMSI immediately so instead he's endorsed the notice and that will be tabled in parliament.

"We exhausted every legal advice on the matter. Parliament does not need to sit. All we need to do is, if we do not intend to review it, is just to table it in parliament so that's what we've done, we've written to the speaker and actually tabled the notice. And, that is all that is required to fulfill the legal requirement to continue the operations of RAMSI in the country."

Manasseh Sogavare.