30 Jul 2020

Solomon’s state of public emergency extended to November

6:46 pm on 30 July 2020

Solomon Islands' parliamentarians have voted to extend the country's state of public emergency until November.

The vote was taken last night after two days of debate with the speaker John Patteson Oti saying it met the two thirds majority needed despite the absence of three MPs from the chamber.

"The members present, 47 members. There are 5 abstentions and 42 for the motion. So accordingly, it satisfied the requirements of section 16:3 of the constitution. The motion is therefore carried," John Patteson Oti announced during the sitting.

During the debates in the lead up to the vote the opposition leader Matthew Wale urged government to work on legislation for staggered alert levels similar to Australia and New Zealand.

Solomon Islands Emergency Powers Act only allows for one level of emergency similar to the maximum level four lockdowns in Australia and New Zealand.

The national parliament in Honiara is now adjourned until Wednesday 12 August to allow the public accounts committee to scrutinize two sizeable supplementary appropriation bills which including spending for the country Covid-19 response.

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands overlooking Honiara City

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands overlooking Honiara City Photo: RNZ Koroi Hawkins

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