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Sir Nathaniel Affirms Neutrality Of Office, Waits

By Chris Leua

Sir Nathaniel Affirms Neutrality Of Office, Awaits Instruction From PM

The Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena GCMG KStJ CSI has assured citizens of Solomon Islands that the on-going political clash between the Grand Coalition for Change Government (GCCG) and Opposition has nothing to do with the Office of the Governor General.

The appropriate circumstance at which the Governor General's Office will be legally required to dispose its obligations will be on the instant the he receives advice from the Prime Minister and Cabinet, when they have decided on the day and the time of when Parliament should next convene.

When delivering his national address this afternoon, Sir Nathaniel said his Office is mindful of the current political tussle between the Government and Opposition and the implication this might have on the nation.

"Let me assure you my good citizens that I still stand by my earlier decisions to remain apolitical and not being part of any of the political problems between the Government and the Opposition."

"All in all, everybody will like the problem to be resolved. Even myself. But the functions of the Office of the Governor General, as contained in the Solomon Islands Constitution Section 103(1) and S101(2)(b) and Standing Orders 7(3) stipulates that I will have to listen to the advice of the Prime Minister, when after Cabinet has decided on the day and time of when Parliament should meet, before I will call on Parliament to reconvene."

The Government has initially proposed for Parliament to sit on 15 November. To date, the Government has not yet put forward any date when Parliament should next meet and already the Opposition, through Hon Dr Derek Sikua, has submitted its notice to Parliament for a no-confidence motion.

"The numbers game of the Government and the Opposition, however, is the not the business of the Office of the Governor General. The Constitution and the Parliamentary Standing Orders have set out the proper legal requirements for the Governor General to act."

"I will still have to consult with the Prime Minister about the date of the next (Parliament) sitting. But that is still yet to happen. The Prime Minister will still have to inform me on this", said Sir Nathaniel.

Sir Nathaniel however reiterated that Parliament should meet before the end of the financial year (31 December 2007) as required under Section 102 of the Constitution to enable Parliament enact the Appropriation Act that will have allowed the Government powers to expedite funds under next year's budget.

"There are provisions in the Constitution that says Parliament will have passed a resolution that will allow the Minister of Finance and Treasury and the Government for that matter, to be granted money for its expenditures next year 2008."

He said for this to happen, Parliament will have to sit before 31 December.

Sir Nathaniel pointed out the functions of the Office of the Governor General under the Constitution and Parliamentary Standing Orders will have not sufficed without a meeting of Parliament.

Sir Nathaniel said the Governor General, in the present political circumstances, will only perform its functions "on the advice of the Prime Minister, under the appropriate legal circumstances and according to the laws of Solomon Islands."


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