27 Jan 2011

Solomons opposition warns of constitutional crisis

8:45 am on 27 January 2011

The Solomon Islands opposition says the country could be plunged into a constitutional crisis if parliament is not recalled.

The opposition is calling on the Prime Minister Danny Philip to resign, saying it has a majority following the defection of the Police Minister James Tora.

It's also petitioned the governor general to recall parliament so it can challenge the government's majority.

A Government House spokesperson says parliament can only be recalled if there is an emergency, such as the failure to pass a new budget.

Deputy opposition leader Matthew Wale says that could be a real possibility if the prime minister does not call parliament in time to bring in a new budget in March

"Now if he leaves it late and the budget gets defeated and we will defeat it however late he brings it, then he will plunge this country into a constitutional crisis. The Governor General needs to take that into account and he obviously would ensure that the spirit of the constitution is not thwarted by a Prime Minister who does not have majority support."

Matthew Wale says they may seek legal clarification if parliament is not recalled.