Dausabea queries delay in election petition cases

MALAITA Ma’asina Forum (MMF) is calling on the National Judiciary to speed up petition cases filed against Members of Parliament (MPs) that won seats in the 2014 national general election.

Speaking to the Solomon Star, MMF president Charles Dausabea said petition cases should be heard within the first six months when an MP comes into power.

However, Mr Dausabea said petition cases against MPs who came into power in the 2014 national general elections are yet to be heard.

“It is three years now and it is likely parliament will dissolve before these cases are complete,” Mr Dausabea said.

He said MPs facing petitions must prove their innocence in court first before enjoying the privileges given to parliamentarians.

He said he could not understand why these cases are taken so long to be resolved because during his term as MP in 2006 he was arrested by the police just few minutes after taking his oath in parliament.

“Why was police quick to arrest me for the case I won in court, but failed to do the same with the current MPs?

“This is unfair,” the MMF president said.

“This is an absolute denial of justice.”

Mr Dausabea said reason stating that this was because of shortage of judges is a “poor excuse”.

“Justice delayed, justice denied,” he Mr Dausabea said.

MMF president said petition case should be dealt within the first six months when the MP took power in office, but it is three years now and it is likely parliament will dissolve before these cases are completed.

This is to avoid the country spending huge entitlements stipulated in the constitution for MPs.

He said MPs have to be proven innocent in court first, before they could be entitle to enjoy privileges given to parliamentarians, he added.

Mr Dausabea said petition cases are urgent for justice to be done immediately for the sake of resource-wise and good governance.

He also supported calls by Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer for the national judiciary to independently administer and control their own budget, without going through the Ministry of Finance and Treasury processes.

He said by allowing our judiciary to operate their budget independently from other government line ministries would addressed the issue of delayed court cases.


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