17 Jul 2007

Solomons speaker urged to rule on reopening of parliament

3:46 pm on 17 July 2007

The leader of the Solomon Islands opposition says the Speaker should seek clarity on the proper procedure to convene parliament.

Fred Fono has criticised the prime minister Manasseh Sogavare who says the Governor General has the power to set the date for the resumption of parliament.

A government statement issued yesterday says there has been an unconstitutional practice of the house being called by the clerk of parliament.

However this is the procedure that has been in place since independence 29 years ago.

Parliament was expected to sit on Thursday and debate a no confidence motion on Friday.

Mr Fono says the Prime Minister and Attorney General are acting as if they know more than all their predecessors in the roles.

"No it's up to the speaker of parliament to find out what's the real interpretation of the constitutional provisions to put it straight. [The speaker is] Sir Peter Kelinorea who was our first Prime Minister and also involved in writing up the constitution. He cannot err in the intepretation."

Fred Fono