4 Aug 2014

Solomons MPs preoccupied with development funds, says academic

7:55 pm on 4 August 2014

An academic says that the prevailing political culture in Solomon Islands has bred a preoccupation with Rural Constituency Development Funds.

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, from the University of Hawai'i's Center for Pacific Islands Studies, says he doesn't expect this to change after October's election in Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands has introduced a biometric voting system for the election, and parliament is considering a Political Parties Integrity bill which aims to forge political stability.

Despite these steps, Dr Kabutaulaka says voting tends to be about getting access to development funds.

"And I've seen the nature of discussions change over time, particularly in the last ten years when the RCDF (Rural Constituency Development Fund) became very, very important. A lot of preoccupation of parliament and discussions in parliament shifted away from issues of policy and issues of law to a great deal of discussion about distribution of the RCDF."

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka