Government Demands Renbel to Elect New Premier

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Flag of Rennell and Bellona Province.

GOVERNMENT has given Rennell Bellona Province (Renbel) an ultimatum to elect a new premier in the next 5 days, which will also count as their last chance.

Minister of Provincial Government & Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) in an order letter addressed to Renbel Provincial Speaker, Clerk and all Members of the Provincial Assembly today announces a new date for the provincial premier’s election to be held on 5th August 2019 by 12 (am) midnight.

Failure to do so will result in the dissolution of the Provincial Assembly with immediate effect.

Renbel Assembly has failed to receive an absolute majority on the election of its premier to form the next executive government on the 24th-25th of July. For two consecutive days of voting with four rounds of balloting that resulted in a ‘tie’ (5 votes each for the two contesting candidates), the Provincial Assembly could not reach a majority for the qualification of an elected premier.

When the Speaker requested the activation of Oder 49(f) of the Provincial Government Act (1997) for a dissolution, the majority of the members declined the activation of the said provision, indicating their refusal.

Minister for MPGIS Honourable Anthony Veke, therefore, seeks an audience with Attorney General’s Office to address the impasse emanated from the unprecedented assembly proceedings.

Having consulted all relevant laws, governing responsibilities, the financial capacity to conduct fresh elections, and democratic principles, the Minister has decided to invoke section 47 of the Act exercising his powers related to difficult or special circumstances.

With the new date set, Minister Hon. Veke gives a strong warning to the Renbel Assembly.

“In the event that you still fail to reach an absolute majority to elect a premier, on this appointed date, the Provincial Assembly will be dissolved with immediate effect.

“You should not reservedly take things into your own hands.

“You are hereby encouraged to think about the welfare of those innocent citizens that you represent,” he stated in the order letter.

Minister Veke further reminded the 10 ward representatives to demonstrate their loyal commitments as leaders and must prioritize the welfare needs of their people on top of their personal preferences.

“It is of paramount importance that the executive Government of Renbel should form so that basic services and support for communities continues.”

The election will be held at the provincial station- Tingoa.