COMMONWEALTH CONCERNED OVER SOLOMONS’ PARLIAMENT EXTENSION

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LONDON (April 27, 2001 - CNIS/PINA Nius Online)---Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has expressed concerns over the Solomon Islands’ move to extend the life of Parliament from four to five years.

Mr. McKinnon reiterated calls by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on the Harare Declaration (CMAG) at its meeting in London.

The meeting was aimed at maintaining a commitment to the Townsville and Marau peace agreements and to adhere to the proposed plan for parliamentary elections in August.

The Secretary General said the Solomons is being closely monitored by the Commonwealth and the international community.

A postponement of the elections could affect the country's international credibility and the ongoing peace process, he said.

He urged the government to maintain a commitment to the Harare principle.

He said the Commonwealth is ready to assist with preparations for national elections if necessary.

The Solomon Islands Parliament is due to be dissolved on August 28.

According to the Solomon Islands Constitution, national elections must be held within four months of that date.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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