3 Feb 2010

Solomons considers adding 17 constituencies

2:10 pm on 3 February 2010

Voters in Solomon Islands may be selecting 17 additional MPs in this year's election if the recommendations from the Constituency Boundaries Commission are accepted.

The Solomon Islands Parliament currently has 50 members but the Commission has recommended four additional electorates on Malaita, three more in rural Guadalcanal and in Western Province, and one in each of the other six provinces.

Honiara city would also be given another electorate under the plan, which is now before Cabinet.

Solomon Islands is presently considering a federal system of government but the Commission secretary, John Babalu, says this was not a consideration in their recommendations.

"In fact the Boundaries Commission does not consider any laws or legislations which are not yet in existence in the country. So the Commission actually bases its recommendations on the current laws spelt out in the Constitution."

John Babalu says if the proposals are endorsed by the MPs in the next session of Parliament the new seats would be contested in the poll later this year.