Extra seats? Parliament undecided

Update (15/04/10): Parliament is undecided no more. Last night, it voted 25-15 in support of a motion to reject the report of the Constitutional Boundaries Commission. Apparently this means that the report’s recommendation will not be voted on at all. Some controversy arose from the decision of the Speaker, Sir Peter Kenilorea, to allow the motion to be moved without the usual three days notice. Kenilorea said he allowed the motion without notice because it was a matter of ‘national urgency’. See reports in the Solomon Star and Solomon Times for more details.

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I previously posted (here and here) on the proposal by the Constituency Boundaries Commission (CBC) to increase the number of seats in Parliament from 50 to 67. A recent report from the Solomon Star (9/04/10) suggests that the vote is still in the balance, largely due to concerns regarding the possible costs involved.

In parliamentary debate today, government ministers Steve Abana and Seth Gukuna both spoke against the proposal (One TV, 13/04/10) however another senior and long-serving member of the government, Job Tausinga, has indicated his support (Solomon Star, 13/04/10).

Presumably, we will know the result soon …

Update (14/04/10): OneTV has quoted Opposition Leader Manasseh Sogavare expressing his opposition to the proposed increase in seats whilst the Solomon Star reports that Chiefs from Central Guadalcanal have added their opposition to the debate. Their objection does not relate to the costs involved; rather, they are concerned about the proposal to split the electorate of Central Guadalcanal into two (a smaller Central Guadalcanal and a new North Guadalcanal).

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