CHIEF JUSTICE RULES SPECIAL SOLOMONS PARLIAMENT

SESSION LEGAL

HONIARA, Solomons Islands (September 11, 1998 - PACNEWS/Amy)--- Solomon Islands Chief Justice Sir John Muria ruled today that Governor General Sir Moses Pitakaka's call for a special session of Parliament is legal.

The case was brought before the High Court last Friday by Attorney General Primo Afeau on behalf of Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, who questioned the call's legality.

Justice Sir John also ruled that an earlier decision by Sir Moses to reverse a motion by an Acting Attorney General, while Sir Moses was undergoing medical treatment in Australia, was legal as well.

Sir Moses asked for the special session to permit the introduction and discussion of a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Ulufa'alu and his Alliance for Progress government, and to settle which coalition has majority rule in Parliament.

Justice Sir John directed Parliament to meet as soon as possible to solve these political issues and ordered that Governor General Pitakaka's legal expenses associated with defending his decisions be paid out of public funds.

Sir Moses, who was represented by Chris Hapa of Moti's Barristers and Solicitors, has asked the Melanesia country's citizens to remain calm while the issues associated with the parliamentary crisis are resolved.

 

PM TO CHALLENGE COURT DECISION

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (September 11, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Solomon Islands Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu has announced that he plans to appeal the High Court judgement which ruled in favor of Governor General Sir Moses Pitakaka's decision to convene a special sitting of Parliament, enabling it to consider a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister.

He made the comments during a nationwide radio address.

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