5 Sep 2009

Solomon Islands govt criticised over consultation time for stability bills

9:20 am on 5 September 2009

The Solomon Islands government is being criticised over the time allotted for public consultation on two bills aimed at achieving political stability.

Public consultation meetings have been held over the past week in Honiara for the Political Parties Integrity Bill and the accompanying Enabling Constitutional Amendment Bill.

More are planned for the provincial centres over the next fortnight before the bill is presented to parliament at the end of the month.

The government says there's is a limit to the extent of public consultation but Dr John Roughan of the Solomon Islands Development Trust says the process isn't giving people time to give informed feedback.

"The one group who own the country are the least informed. They are the group that have the least amount of education and they are asked to make major decisions, judgments on and information base that you and I would say no, I can't make a decision on that because I haven't got enough information."

Dr John Roughan says until the political climate is such that people hold their representatives to account the bills will not be effective.