14 Aug 2009

Solomon Islands opposition doubts grassroots will be heard over constitution

12:47 pm on 14 August 2009

The Solomon Islands opposition leader says he doubts the views of ordinary people will be taken into account in finalising the country's constitution.

The comment follows the release for public viewing of the first 2009 draft of the new federal constitution, the culmination of a two-month review of the Draft Federal Constitution of 2004.

The head of one of the bodies that conducted the review says the new constitution has had input from all sectors of society and once in place will ease ethnic tensions.

But Manasseh Sogovare warns against treating the document as a panacea for unrest.

"The people who are now talking, who do the most talking about these things are people at the basically the political elite, so people at the political level. The grassroots are really not talking about this issue, in fact they're actually led to believe that that is what is good for us and I believe that's very dangerous."

Manasseh Sogovare of the Solomon Islands Opposition.