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National Parliament of Solomon Islands

 
PRIME MINISTER SOGAVARE DEFEATED IN MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE

TUESDAY 7TH NOVEMBER 2017

Hon. Dr Derek Sikua when moving the motion in Parliament. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in Parliament replied to remarks made against him.
Hon. Dr Derek Sikua when moving the motion in Parliament. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in Parliament replied to remarks made against him .

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was defeated in the motion of no confidence moved against him on Monday 6th November 2017.

Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu in his remarks before the motion was moved stated that the reason for the practice of a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister is twofold.

  1. A motion of no confidence in the prime Minister implies amongst other things that the government does not have the numerical strength to govern. This is a serious issue in which Parliament must deal with at the first available opportunity. If there is doubt as to the majority of support commanded by the Prime Minister in this House, it must be tested as soon as possible because to have a minority government administering the affairs of the country would run contrary to the established principle of ‘majority rule’ which is a rudimentary basis upon which our Constitution and parliamentary democracy is premised on. I do not think that this would be in the best interest of this nation.
  2. Secondly, if there is clearly a lack of support for the Prime Minister, this implies that the required numerical strength is not on the Government side but on the opposing side of the House. The situation where the opposing side commands the required majority could lead to deliberate hindrance of Government business here on the floor of Parliament and thereby stalling Parliamentary business. That would not be a good situation to be in because the Government must be able to continue to implement its policies and deliver services to the people of this country and Parliament must be able to continue its business.”

Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua, Leader of the Independent Group then moved:

“That the National Parliament of Solomon Islands resolves that it has no confidence in the Prime Minister.”

Voting was done through a division and the results were 27 for the motion and 23 against the motion.

It is a matter of parliamentary practice that a motion of no confidence takes precedence over other parliamentary business or items of business that can or ought to be set down on the Order Paper for that particular sitting.

This means that a motion of no confidence must be dealt with as soon as possible and it may be required to be debated on days allotted for government business and not necessarily on Fridays only which is private members’ day.

Although the motion is passed, the Honourable Prime Minister remains in office and performs his normal duties until he is officially removed by His Excellency, the Governor-General, in accordance with Section 34 (1) of the Constitution.

Section 34 (1) of the constitution states:

“If a resolution of no confidence in the Prime Minister is passed by Parliament by an absolute majority of the votes by members thereof the Governor General shall remove the Prime Minister from office, whereupon the members of Parliament shall meet as soon as possible during the same session of Parliament to elect a new Prime Minister in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 2 to this constitution.”

Parliament is adjourned until the day after a new Prime Minister has been elected.

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