18 Oct 2005

Solomons board appointments of backbenchers illegal - claim

3:12 pm on 18 October 2005

There is a claim in Solomon Islands that a government practice to appoint backbenchers to run statutory bodies is illegal.

Sources say the speaker of parliament and former prime minister, Sir Peter Kenilorea, has written to the prime minister advising him of his concerns.

Several prime ministers have appointed backbenchers as chairmen of boards and government-owned enterprises to ensure political expedience and stability.

Sir Peter is concerned that as members of parliament they are not eligible to be appointed to such positions and to get allowances.

The practice is said to have been common with several prime ministers, including the incumbent, Sir Allan Kemakeza.