Run-down state of country revealed by West Makira MP Manu’ari, calling for dissolution of parliament
MEMBER of Parliament for West Makira Derrick Manu’ari has called for fresh election, given the country’s dire financial situation.
In a phone interview yesterday, the west Makira MP said financial situation of the country is now going from bad to worse, and the government seems incapable to handle its finances.
“I am thinking of moving a motion for dissolution of parliament under Section 73 of the National Constitution.
“The nation has witnessed the government bailed out $150 million of people’s savings from the National Provident Fund (NPF), and since that the government has been rummage around looking for places to borrow from.
“A fresh election will bring renewed hope and confidence not only for Solomon Islands people but also for donor partners, that we are really serious about future and economy of this nation,” Mr Manu’ari said.
He said what is happening now is the country is completely draining all its reserves.
He said the more reserves the country has; the more capable it is to repay loans from its commitment to international institutions such as the International Monitoring Fund (IMF).
“Two things only, either we sit and watch this situation until the end of this term which surely will worsen the situation. In this case, we expect the country to only continue exacerbated by this ailing financial situation until it is down on its knees.
“Or dissolve parliament and call for new election. This will bring renewed hope and confidence; at this point our donors are scared and distance themselves from us. They cannot lend us loan because all their requirements are not adhered to, according to how the government is managing its fiscal and monitoring policy.”
Mr manu’ari said either way for sure the government will bear the cost to run the country.
“But which cost is desirable and which is undesirable, first cost is for this nation going down the drain economically. And signs begin taking its toll in front our very eyes, see our students are pressurizing the Ministry of Education and the Finance Ministry for their allowance which has not paid in time.
Mr Manu’ari recalled that in 2015 more than $400 million of reserves the country uses and zero percent of the economy was replaced for that entire year into the reserves.
However, he said there is no point for a change in government in this current house as nothing can be done in the next 17 or so month before the general election.
“So it’s best for a fresh election. Now that we are draining all our reserves, these international institutions will not offer us loan. Their confidence to offer assistance through loan arrangements is a difficulty.
“It will take years to go over this situation, and with fresh election might not solve this problem but will bring renewed confidence and renewed hope.
“To form a new government now is pointless because time is too short, and for MPs from the government to break away is not possible because they use money to keep their numbers intact,” he said
He reiterated: “The point is either we sit down and watch this country going down the drain or do something about it to save it now and for our future generation.
When asked, the west Makira MP said it needs simple majority which means the support of 26 members out of the current 50 sitting MPs to pass the motion for parliament to dissolve.
A senior official from the Government House when asked yesterday explained that a notice of motion must be given to the Speaker at least 7 clear days before it is introduced.
The Governor General (GG) has no power on his own to dissolve parliament. The GG can only prorogue or dissolve parliament by proclamation if the Parliament decides by resolution supported by the votes of an absolute majority of the MPs.
Mr Manu’ari stressed that if the government wants to continue rule, it must clean its back yard and do something to bring the economy back to normal.
“During the ethnic tension, we face similar situation but that was due to the then civil crises, now everything is fine and we have seen signs of government’s financial incapability.
“Everything involves cost, but there is also gain. There will be renewed hope, renewed confidence if we have fresh election.
“A fresh election will bring renewed hope and confidence not only for Solomon Islands people but also for donor partners, but we are really serious about future and economy of this nation.”
He deliberated that cost cutting measures highlighted by the Minister for Finance Snyder Rini recently is way too late. It should be introduced a long time ago.
Mr Manu’ari said cost cutting measures can be put in place even if the economy is good.
“But now we are in a desperate situation, cost cutting measures is not enough to address this situation, and the political nature of this is one other thing
“I take the Parliamentary Entitlement Commission (PEC) because I know it will tarnish the economy if MPs didn’t pays tax and that is what we are witnessing now, our economy is heading for the worse,” he reiterates.