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TUESDAY 17TH MARCH 2020

His Excellency the Governor General, the Rt Reverend Sir. David Vunagi during the national anthem at National Parliament.

The Governor General, His Excellency Rt Reverend Sir David Vunagi has reminded Members of Parliament to discharge their constitutional mandate with integrity, statesmanship and ethical behaviour.

His Excellency made the statements when opening Parliament’s first session for 2020 with a traditional speech from the throne at the Parliament’s chambers on Monday.

Sir Vunagi said it was his humble duty and special privilege, as the Constitutional Representative of Her Majesty, The Queen and Head of State of the Independent Democratic Sovereign State of Solomon Islands to deliver the Traditional Speech from the Throne and officially open the first session of the 11th Parliament third meeting.

He sincerely congratulate the Hon. Prime Minister and the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) for calling the 3rd meeting of the 11th Parliament to convene today.

His Excellency Vunagi took the opportunity among other issues in reminding Ministers of the Crown to discharge their constitutional mandate with integrity and statesmanship.

He told parliament the future of Solomon Islands depends on their sound judgement and vision in leading our beloved country forward.

“I pray you will rise to the occasion and deliver on your policies for the good of this country” Sir Vunagi told Parliament.

The Governor General also encouraged the Hon. Leader of the Official opposition as the leader of the alternative government, to exercise the check and balance functions of the opposition Office in a vigorous but responsible and ethical manner.

“This is because the official opposition plays an important Constitutional role in ensuring that the government be held accountable, transparent and attentive in its decision making and in the discharge of its constitutional mandate in leading and governing our people” Sir Vunagi added.

On the same note His Excellency also encouraged the Leader of the Independent Group to continue with the good work that he and his members have done so far in representing a balanced and constructive view on national issues of public interest.

The Office of the Leader of the Independent is a Constitutional Office that is independent of both the government and the office of the opposition.

He said it is his prayer that the independent office continue to advocate for the national interest by independently discharging the functions of the office without fear or favour whilst ensuring that both the Government and the Official Opposition are held accountable in the discharge of their constitutional mandate.

His Excellency further encouraged all Members of Parliament that each of them are representatives of their people in the esteemed house and that he would like to appeal that they discharged their constitutional mandate without fear or favour as well.

Sir Vunagi reminded Parliament that their responsibility is an overwhelming and ethical one that needs sound guidance, ethical leadership and requires a clear vision and he trusts that they will discharge their duties with due diligence and integrity.

He concluded by reminding all Solomon Islanders of the country’s national motto “To Lead is to Serve” and took the opportunity to also highlight individual and collective duty of nation building.

He said as Solomon Islanders, it is our individual and collective duty to lead our people and country by serving them.

“We are so fortunate to be blessed with a wealth of diverse cultures, rich natural resources and a youthful population. These are assets to this country. We must be vigilant as custodians of our natural resources and be good role models to our youth. It is critical that we mould and shape our people and especially the youths with the right values, virtues attitudes which will provide a firm foundation for a peaceful and progressive society. They are our future and they need our guidance. Let us lead by example”

Parliament will resume again tomorrow (Tuesday 17th March) to continue with its business.

THURSDAY 19TH DECEMBER 2019

The second meeting of the 11th Parliament adjourned sine die on the 18th day of December 2019."

Speaker of Parliament Hon. Patteson J. Oti in his remarks when concluding the motion of sine die said Parliament have deliberated on several issues and Bills over the Past two meetings and thanked Members of Parliament for their cooperation.

“In the last meeting, we have seen all members successfully took their oaths of allegiance to enable all to participate in the proceedings of Parliament. We also had the successful election of office holders, that being the deputy speaker and the Speaker. And also the opportunity to elect a new Governor General.”

However, Hon Oti said that it was unfortunate that the 11th Parliament lost one of its members for East Makira, but is pleased to welcome the member which the people of East Makira have recently chosen to represent them.

The newly elected MP for East Makira is Hon. Lily Maefai whom in her maiden speech in Parliament on Wednesday dedicated her win to her late husband and former MP for east Makira, Charles Maefai.

In the second meeting Parliament was privileged to have the opening of the meeting by the new Governor General, His Excellency Sir David Vunagi.

Also Parliament had the opportunity to have His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales who graced Parliament with his presence and made an address to the house.

Hon. Oti wished all members and their families, staff of Parliament and the people of Solomon Islands a very merry Christmas and a happy prosperous New Year 2020.

THURSDAY 19TH DECEMBER 2019

Newly elected MP for East Makira, Hon. Lily Maefai taking her oath on the floor of Parliament.

The newly elected MP for East Makira constituency, Hon. Lily Maefai took her oath of allegiance in Parliament on Wednesday 18th December 2019, the final day of the second meeting of the 11th Parliament.

The meeting which ended with a debate on the motion of sine die saw Solomon Island’s third woman MP sworn into Parliament in order to participate in the proceedings of the House.

The Honourable Speaker of Parliament Hon. Patteson J. Oti welcomed Hon. Lily Maefai. Her win sets a new record for women’s representation in the 5o member house.

Since Solomon Islands gained independence 41 years ago, Hon. Lily is the fifth woman to be elected to Solomon Islands Parliament. The first women to be elected was Hilda Kari who represented North East Guadalcanal constituency in the 1980s.

The second was in 2012 where Vika Lusibaea won the North Malaita constituency seat in a by- election.

The other two women MPs are Hon. Freda Tuki Soriacomua representing Temotu Vatud constituency and Hon. Lanelle Olandrea Tanangada for Gizo - Kolombagara constituency.

TUESDAY 17TH DECEMBER 2019

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands now passed the, “Three billion, eight hundred seventeenth million, one hundred fifty- five thousand and seven hundred and two dollars ($3,817,155,702)”.

The issue of this amount from the consolidated fund is authorized to the service of the financial year ending 31st December 2020.

Total recurrent budget is two billion, nine hundred seventy eight million, eight hundred eighty eight thousand and fifty nine dollars ($2,978,888,059) whilst total Solomon Islands Government (SIG) funded development budget is six hundred twenty seven million, one hundred fifty four thousand, seven hundred and six dollars ($627,154,706).

Total budget support expenditure is two hundred and eleven million, one hundred and twelve thousand, nine hundred and thirty seven dollars ($211,112,937).

These make up the total appropriation funding of $3,817,155,702 for the 2020 financial year.

External budget support revenues are three hundred and seventy one million ($371,000,000). This is money that will be received from external sources.

So a total of 3.94 billion budget as $3.57 billion will be directly SIG funded expenditure and $371 million from external sources.

Debate on the motion of sine die moved by the Prime Minister today also commences and will continue in the next few days as we are counting down to Christmas Day.

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