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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 31) - A Solomon Islands villager plans to seek legal action against his Member of Parliament if he fails to produce a report on how he spent Rural Constituency Development Funds from 2001 to 2004.

Joe Tinonileho of Central Guadalcanal claims former Member of Parliament Walton Naezon failed to tell voters how he utilized the constituency funds.

"We will seek legal action if he does not produce a full report on how he spend the Rural Constituency Development Funds. We are now fed up with his false promises," Tinonileho told the Solomon Star.

He claimed Naezon had promised to fund community projects submitted for funding under the Rural Constituency Development Fund but he never did.

"Projects submitted last year were never considered. They remained pending until this year. When we came down to Honiara to see him he told us there were no funds left for the projects," Tinonileho said.

He added Naezon invited them for a meeting in Honiara last week only to tell them that he had only SB$50,000 [US$7,000] left from his terminal grant.

Tinonileho said more than 500 voters turned up at the National Archives with high expectations but they returned home with nothing.

"We are fed up with empty promises. We will surely vote for a new and sensible leader who understands our needs in this coming election," said Tinonileho.

Some members from the constituency also claimed that since 2001 none of them benefited from the Rural Constituency Development Fund that was supposed to assist in the development of rural areas.

The members said they have no idea what Naezon did with the Development Funds because about 100 applications are still pending in his office. Those applications accumulated over time since 2004.

He said communities and individuals applied for projects such as piggery, school, road maintenance, water supply, and poultry.

But Naezon told the Solomon Star that a full report on his constituency’s Development Funds breakdown can be viewed at the Guadalcanal Province office in Honiara.

Naezon explains that it is a requirement that every Member of Parliament produce a report on the use of Rural Constituency Development Funds before the next allotment could be released.

Each Member of Parliament is paid SB$400,000 [US$56,000] a year in Rural Community Development Funds.

Naezon said every constituent whom he met last Thursday only demanded payments for school fees and there was nothing on the projects claimed.

"All who came on Thursday demanded money for the payment of their children’s school fees and I told them that all our entitlements were already ceased, but I will try and fundraise to meet the demand," said Naezon.

He said more than SB$200,000 [US$28,000] was demanded by his constituents this year and that was a 100 percent increase from the past years.

"I paid SB$100,000 [US$14,000] worth of school fees every year, but this year it increased to SB$250,000 [US$35,000]," said Naezon.

Naezon also said he would welcome Tinonileho to visit his office if he has any problems to discuss.

February 1, 2006

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