Speaker of the Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly, Abel Arabola has denied claims he is biased against the Province’s Premier.
Premier Stephen Panga had this week accused the Speaker of being biased against his leadership, hence the political crisis the province is facing.
But speaking to SIBC News today, Mr Arabola says his decision to go ahead with the motion of confidence against the Premier is in line with an advise from the Attorney General’s Chambers, and from a legal notice from the Minister of Provincial Government.
“I have no choice but to comply with it. I cannot refuse these two: the advice of the AG and also the order from the Minister. Who am I to turn down or refuse to follow this order? I have received the AG’s advise that asked me to continue and use the 2013 Standing Orders because according to him, it is still effective and valid all along since its adoption by the assembly on 27th February, 2013. The Minister’s order is also gazetted on Monday 24th Legal Notice number 29, which I received on 25th of March.”
Meanwhile, the Provincial Assembly Speaker says Premier Panga should stop blaming anyone for the current political situation his provincial assembly faces.
He adds the matter is now before the High court, and only the Court will determine who is right and wrong.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Speaker says Guadalcanal Province does not have provincial funds as of this month.
Abel Arabola told SIBC News today, the provincial assembly could not make any provincial funds as of yesterday, the first of April.
Mr Arabola says the lack of funds is because no budget has been passed due to the current political instability in the Province.
“Guadalcanal Province cannot make any payments from the Provincial Funds as of the 1st of April 2014 because it has no budget due to the ongoing political impasse. Also if we table the budget, it cannot be passed without the government having a majority, so those are the problems. A budget cannot be passed without an assembly meeting.”
SIBC News understands Guadalcanal Premier Stephen Panga said in a previous interview that the province will be using contingency funds during the political crisis.