PM withdraws dual citizenship bill

Inside the Parliament Chamber of Solomon Islands. Photo: Courtesy of Radio Australia

Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela withdrew the dual citizenship bill on the floor of Parliament today.

The Constitution (Amendment) (Dual Citizenship) Bill 2017, which was due for second reading today, was withdrawn to allow Government to address issues raised by the Bills and Legislation Committee.

Prime Minister Houenipwela said he received the BLC’s report last night, which suggested that the dual citizenship bill be deferred and the citizenship bill be withdrawn.

The BLC made the suggestion so that Government can look at the broader policy issues the committee raised regarding the citizenship bill.

Prime Minister Houenipwela said Government needs more time to work on the BLC recommendations, and it decided to withdraw both bills since the dual citizenship bill is an enabling legislation for the citizenship bill.

“They said because of the intensity and the importance of this matter, the bill should be withdrawn first,” the Prime Minister said, referring to the committee’s recommendations. “That is why I am going to withdraw this bill.”

BLC Chairman Matthew Wale said they have no problem with Government’s decision to withdraw both bills as they can be reintroduced to Parliament.

The bills will have to go through the normal processes again when they are ready to be reintroduced.

By Leni Dalavera

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