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Five constituencies out of the total 50 has been denied from receiving the funding component secured from China to replace Taiwan’s Rural Constituency Development Funding (RCDF) assistance.
Member of Parliament for West Kwara’ae, Honourable Sam Shemuel Iduri has confirmed.
The five constituencies include Aoke-Langalanga, East Are’are, Small Malaita, West Are’are and West Kwara’ae.
Speaking for his colleague Opposition MPs for Aoke langalanga, East Are’are, Small Malaita and West Are’are, and their respective people, Hon. Iduri says:
“…The Government Caucus on Tuesday 3rd December, 2019, made a decision to deny our constituencies from receiving the funding component secured from China to replace Taiwan’s Rural Constituency Development Fund assistance to all 50 constituencies.
“As a result of the Caucus decision, the affected Malaita MPs wish to let our leaders and people know that, unlike the other 45 colleague Members of Parliament, we will not have any funds at our disposal any time soon, to meet any new or ongoing projects or other commitments in our respective constituencies.
“Therefore, it will be futile for any person or organisation from our respective constituencies to approach us for funding assistance, “Hon. Iduri says in a statement.
Hon. Iduri says the decision taken by the Government Caucus was based on the fact that they supported the decision taken by the Malaita Provincial Executive against the Government’s decision to switch diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China”.
Hon. Iduri in his statement, thanked their respective leaders and people for their understanding and corporation and promises to update them should the situation change.
But the Government already make its stand clear on the issue (RCDF) that all constituencies around the country are entitled to the Solomon Islands Government’s Rural Constituency Development Funds (RCDF).
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Member of Parliament for East Malaita Constituency, Hon. Manasseh Maelanga, MP admitted this in a government statement issued earlier.
Hon. Maelanga stated that it is in the interest of the Government that all provinces receive and benefit from funds committed to the development of all constituencies and recent media references on the issue were published without official consultation or formal verification of the facts.
Hon. Maelanga clarified that the Government also has to respect the Auki Communique of which Clause 7 ‘rejects the Chinese Communist Party – CCP and its formal systems based on atheist ideology’ and combined with the ongoing statements made by the Malaita Premier openly refusing to recognise the PRC in both local and international media, affirms that Malaita Province would not avail itself to any support from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The position taken by the Malaita Premier and those in support of the Auki Communique, which includes the five Members of Parliament whose presence during the signing of the Communique is formally registered in the document, have to be respected and Hon. Maelanga further clarified that the Rural Constituency Funds currently in the process of being disbursed, consists only of funding provided by the PRC.
Whilst it is in the interest of the Government to disburse funds purposely for the development of all constituencies around the country, the exclusion of certain constituencies from PRC funding is in due respect of the Auki Communique and the decision by the representative MP’s in support of the position taken by the Malaita Premier in relation to the diplomatic switch.
“The Government understands that what transpired in the Auki Communique is purported to be in the best interests of the Province and not just the interest of a few who might be using the recent China switch to lure support and indirectly drive their political egoistic interest,” he stated.
Hence, the Government will work to collectively address the proposals raised in the Communique and ensure that all constituencies receive available support from the Solomon Islands Government and alternative development partners.
The Government is committed to ensure all provinces benefit from development support and will not be drawn into petty politics driven by individual agendas.
The Government continues to encourage all Provincial Governments as agents of the national government to stay committed to hold dialogue with the National Government as the way forward.
The National Government is fully committed to the delivery of its policies to serve in the interest of national unity and stability, lasting peace and economic advancement.