4 Sep 2009

Former Solomon Islands politician says measures won't necessarily bring political stability

6:10 pm on 4 September 2009

A former Solomon Islands politician says political stability would be more easily achieved by adopting the federal constitution.

The comment, from Walton Naezon, a Guadalcanal leader, follows public consultation in Honiara on the Political Parties Integrity Bill and accompanying Enabling Constitutional Amendment Bill.

The bills go before parliament at the end of the month following public meetings in all the provincial centres.

Mr Naezon says it would be neater to adopt the draft federal constitution before enacting legislation to limit political party hopping and create greater electoral transparency.

He says removing parliamentarians' access to development funds, such as the Rural Constituency Development Fund, should take priority over the bills.

"This is where it's wrong. You come to become a member of parliament, you are not coming to be a member of parliament because of RCDF. Most people in this house now they campaign on the platform of RCDF. Maybe taking it away you will find a big number of members of parliament will not come back because they actually promise all the people during the elections that they will give them vehicles, ships and all sorts of things"

However the government says parliamentarians' access to funding is a separate issue and will dealt with once there is political stability.