12 Feb 2019

Money the focus of Solomons elections - Transparency

4:45 pm on 12 February 2019

Transparency Solomon Islands says MPs should not have direct control over funds for their constituencies.

Ruth Liloqula.

Ruth Liloqula Photo: Twitter / Nicole Haley

Solomon Islanders go to the polls on the third of April and campaigning around the country has begun in earnest.

The watchdog's chief executive Ruth Liloqula said many voters in Solomon Islands think change will come from electing new leaders.

But she said true change can only happen if the power over Rural Constituency Development Funds or RCDFs is removed from the "clutch" of parliamentarians.

"The election is not about choosing new leaders that will lead the country in the next four years but it is all about RCDF. Where they could benefit most and those who have not benefited are using this coming election like to at least make some money.

"Even if they don't make any money in the next four years out of the RCDFs."

Transparency Solomon Islands' Ruth Liloqula said people need to speak up about corruption as voting in a new representative is no guarantee things will change.

"Regardless of whether you vote in the former member of parliament or new member of parliament, until such time as people stand up and speak that this is not right and demand accountability nothing much will change for us."

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