22 Oct 2009

Solomon Islands political integrity bill gets "overwhelming" support

10:56 am on 22 October 2009

The Solomon Islands prime minister's office says the Political Parties Integrity Bill has received overwhelming support from provincial leaders.

The so-called Grasshopper Prevention Bill is one of the government's major legislative reforms aimed at stabilising politics by strengthening the weak political party system.

The bill's working committee chairman, John Keniapisia, has led a team to consult with provincial and community leaders in seven provincial centres.

The Prime Minister's office says the team found support for the reform, especially from community leaders who want stability.

Many say the bill is necessary to control politicians who often become captives of business interest groups.

Mr Keniapisia says there is appreciation of the reform in the villages, but communities don't have the capacity to contribute to consultation.

He says people need more awareness of politics which will be carried out by the Political Parties Reform Commission under the proposed legislation.

Views gathered from the consultations will be used to make amendments to the current draft before it's submitted for parliamentary debate in the November.