SOLOMONS LAWMAKERS WAITING FOR DETAILS

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 2) - A Solomon Islands opposition member of parliament said he will support changes to the constitution to allow an armed intervention force in the country but he wants to know how it will be deployed.

Simeon Bouro, who represents East Honiara, said other members of parliament also want to know how the Australian-led force will operate before a vote is taken next week on the changes.

Bouro also said the force may have to be in Solomon Islands for between two to three years because crime has become institutionalized.

"I think the intervention is inevitable but it’s the mechanisms how and the rules of how they play the game, that is what we are going to discuss in parliament. That's the crucial point is, if they play by the rules that is set by parliament, I think it should be okay, but if it is something that's alien, that is where the question is "

Bouro said he and other Solomons lawmakers would like to see the country’s police commissioner, Bill Morrell, be the supreme leader of the force.

He also said any military operation undertaken should be sanctioned by the Salomons parliament first.

Bouro said he has yet to see the proposed legislative changes to the constitution.

Meanwhile, there are calls for major constraints on what the intervention team can do in Solomon Islands.

An unsigned, six-page submission to the government said the intervention must work for the well-being of Solomon Islanders and not cause further division.

It said to this end the force must delay its arrival for up to four months to allow a full amnesty for ex-militants.

It also said it would be disastrous to take action against any police officer and they should all receive impunity and guaranteed tenure.

The submission said without these elements chaos will ensue.

Who compiled the submission is not yet known.

There have been earlier calls for amnesty while the former Malaitan militants have voiced reservations.

Prime Minister Sir Allen Kemakeza said the force would not be considering past crimes.

July 2, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/ 

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