17 Jul 2007

Delay of parliament a political ploy by Solomons PM, says opposition

8:00 pm on 17 July 2007

The Solomon Islands opposition leader says the Prime Minister's decision to delay the sitting of parliament is a ploy to counter a motion of no-confidence against him.

Fred Fono has questioned the motives of the prime minister Manasseh Sogavare in giving the Governor-General the power to set the date for when parliament resumes.

This comes after the government said the practice of the house being called by the clerk of parliament for the past three decades was unconstitutional.

Parliament was expected to sit on Thursday and debate a no confidence motion on Friday but has now been delayed until next month.

Mr Fono says the Speaker should seek clarity on the proper procedure.

"From the opposition's point of view, the delaying of the motion... or the delaying of the meeting of parliament is just a political ploy to gain time in order to diffuse the defections of members of parliament that have indicated joining the opposition."

Fred Fono