19 Sep 2017

March in Solomons to petition PM on anti-corruption

9:19 am on 19 September 2017

A public march is planned in the Solomon Islands capital today to petition the prime minister to bring his government's anti-corruption bill back to parliament when it resumes next month.

Solomon Islands parliament

Solomon Islands parliament Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

Manasseh Sogavare's withdrawal of the bill in August was widely criticised despite his reassurances that it was only so that the proposed legislation could be reviewed and made stronger.

The opposition group however accused Mr Sogavare of not having the support of his own MPs to pass the bill which would have provided the framework for the establishment of an independent commission against corruption.

In a statement released last night, the Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations Gabriel Manelusi said organisers of the march had assured police that it would be a peaceful protest.

The event is being organised by the Solomon Islands' civil society's anti-corruption committee.

Mr Manelusi said there would be an increased police presence around the march and he appealed to those taking part to exercise their freedom of speech peacefully and not to be involved in any acts of violence.

He warned police would take action against anyone who tried to disturb the peace.