Petition Against Solomons Development Fund Bill Defeated
Despite support from over 2000, MPs vote down petition
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, April 3, 2013) – The petition against the Solomon Islands Government’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Bill 2013 was defeated in parliament last week after it was tabled and debated.
Opposition MP Mathew Wale presented the petition in parliament which was signed by more than 2,000 people, mostly from Pressure Groups in Honiara seeking parliament to defer the bill to allow for wider consultations.
The bill was the first on the agenda to be tabled in the Parliament.
Mr. Wale said the bill does not feature the fundamentals much needed for the benefit of rural people in the Constituencies.
But according to the parliamentary standing orders the matter must be presented and voted on by members and if it won the majority vote the matter would be referred to a special committee.
Speaker of Parliament Sir Allan Kemakeza allowed the vote to take place despite the notable absence of a few members. Ten of the members of parliament vote for and majority of the members vote against the petition.
Following the vote, Sir Allan ordered the Parliament meeting to continue with the debate on the second reading of the Bill.
Pressure groups that filed the petition included Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI), Forum Solomon Island International (FSII), Forum Solomon Islands (FSI) and other NGOs and Parties that do not agree with the bill.
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