9 Jul 2003

Solomon Islands parliament debates support of armed force

3:14 pm on 9 July 2003

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, has called on all MPs to support changes to the country's constitution to allow an armed force into the country.

The parliament is today debating whether to support the proposed Australian-led force to restore law and order.

Our correspondent, Dorothy Wickham, reports from Honiara.

"Solomon Islands national parliament is continuing its debate on the Government's policy statement on Australia's offer of strengthened assistance for the country......Opening the debate Prime Minister Sir Allen Kemakeza called for the support of all the members of the House..He said there is no other time - it is now,.....speaking next, the Opposition leader John Garo says the country has no option but to accept the offer....he says successive Prime Ministers over the past four years came to the same conclusion - that there is no internal way out....the debate is continuing"