The People’s Alliance Party, PAP, has expressed the concern that the Political Parties Integrity Act does not disallow people from contesting as independents in elections.
PAP President, Sir Nathaniel Waena voiced the party’s concern during consultations with the Political Parties Commission in Honiara this week.
Sir Nathaniel says independent Members of Parliament have been responsible for political instability in governments because they engaged in political hopping.
He says independents MPs have also discouraged hopes for proper political party development in Solomon Islands.
He said adding on the eve of the polling day – also known as ‘Devil’s Night’ – independent candidates and their supporters walk around with bags of money to buy people’s votes.
Meanwhile, two international experts on political party systems say the new act cannot disallow independent candidates from contesting parliamentary elections because of constitutional rights and voters rights.
The experts say it is the people’s Constitutional right to contest as Independents, and it is the voters’ right to elect who-ever they support.
The international experts were hired by the Government.
SIBC News understands, the new Political Parties Integrity Act stipulates a person may stand as an independent candidate if he or she is duly nominated in accordance with the provisions of the National Parliament Electoral Provisions Act.