Solomon Islanders await the formation of a new government | Pacific Beat

Solomon Islanders await the formation of a new government

Solomon Islanders await the formation of a new government

Updated 15 February 2012, 13:15 AEDT

In the Solomon Islands netional elections, attention has shifted to when the Governor General Frank Kabui will call a meeting of MPs to elect the country's next prime minister.

All 50 seats from the August 4th elections have been declared and horse trading is continuing as political parties trying to gain the support to form a government. In the wake of the poll, the Electorial Commission Chairman, Sir Peter Kenilorea, is calling for reforms.

Presenter: Campbell Cooney

Speaker: Sir Peter Kenilorea, Chairman of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and the speaker of parliament

KENILOREA: In terms of the general election we have come to the conclusion of it and of course our process we then have to go and consider and arrange for the election of the prime minister, but that's not for the commission's responsibility. That is for the Governor General to arrange. So as far as the general election is concerned we've come to the conclusion of it.

COONEY: Any indication yet about if there will be an appeal against any results?

KENILOREA: I have not officially received any indication of appeals except for the kind of rumours I think we're all hearing, for example West Honiara is not happy and that sort of thing, possibly Lau Baelelea are not happy. But as I said apart from that it no longer is within the purview of the commission, appeals are directed to the High Court.

COONEY: Looking at how this election went and areas for improvement and reform and that, what are your thoughts on that?

KENILOREA: Yeah I think we've got a lot of work to do in terms of reform. We'll have to have a re-look at our legal framework and look at how to improve our registration of voters, which means giving some more powers to the commission to make some decisions on certain issues. But beyond that we will be looking at the voting system, whether or not to keep the present first-past-the-post or look at other alternatives.

COONEY: Well your neighbouring country Papua New Guinea's introduced a limited preferential system. It seemed to work well, a few hiccups and that, is this the sort of thing that you're looking at?

KENILOREA: Yeah that will be the system we'll be looking at, and I think the past parliament understood the view of the commission on that, and we'll be picking it up after the election of the prime minister and the government has been formed we'll go from there.

COONEY: Alright, the seat's been declared, it's now up to the Governor General to call a meeting of parliament in which the prime minister will be elected. What's the process for that from here?

KENILOREA: Right there's not going to be a meeting of parliament, but certainly the Governor General is responsible. Of course the clerks will help, but it is a meeting of parliamentarians, but not a meeting of parliament, because as I said the Governor General will oversee that, will preside over the election of the prime minister. A meeting of parliament as decided by the Speaker. So we hope that in the next few days we shall be hearing the date and the place for election of the prime minister announced by Government House.

COONEY: It doesn't have to be held in Parliament House but more likely it would be though wouldn't it?

KENILOREA: Yeah, tradition has it that it's always been in Parliament House the election of the prime minister, so I'm sure this time around would not be different.

COONEY: Is it just four clear days notice from when the notice is given of those meeting of parliamentarians, or can it be longer, can you say a minimum of four but I'm going to call it in seven days time, how does that work?

KENILOREA: Yeah the four days refers to the minimum number of days required for nomination. If he wants to call a longer period of time that's at his own discretion.

COONEY: So probably within I'd say a month from now things would be back to normal?

KENILOREA: Yeah I'd agree with you.

COONEY: You hope?

KENILOREA: Yeah, yeah, the normalcy of things, let's not wish differently but I'm sure it'll be normal after a month or so, yeah.

COONEY: Alright will you be nominating yourself again as Speaker?

KENILOREA: I'll be not running, I'll be not chasing it, but I'll not be running away from it if I'm nominated.

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