Solomon Islands Still Hasn’t Chosen Police Commissioner

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Lilo in ‘consultations’ with Police and Prison Service commission

By Ednal Palmer

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 31, 2013) – The recommendation on a new police commissioner furnished to the Prime Minister last week, has been sent back to the Police and Prison Service commission.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said he sent back the report for further consultation as required under Section 43 of the constitution.

"Section 43 requires consultation, and I am now consulting with them," Mr Lilo said.

He said he cited the report but said there were fundamental issues of fairness and equity of citizens that needs to be assessed further.

"So on the consultation part, it’s back in their court again.

"The commission is considering those issues right now."

Meanwhile press secretary to Prime Minister Douglas Marau dismissed claims on social media group Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) that the Prime Minister had an audience with Walter Kola.

"That was a total make up. There was no meeting as such.

"It could be another make up to influence public opinion."

The Office of the Prime Minister last week announced that the new police commissioner is expected to be announced this week.

Mr Lilo upon receiving the police commissioner’s report called on the public to respect the process until such a time the new police commissioner is announced.

[PIR editor’s note: Opposition leader Derek Sikua has warned the Prime Minister not to try and dictate to the Commission who it should recommend for the job.]

"I am asking the public to respect the process and not to interfere with it as it must be done independently," he said.

The Prime Minister also encouraged the public to stop spreading rumors that would undermine the process.

Five candidates were interviewed for the post.

They included former police commissioner Englishman Frank Short, current acting chief Juanita Matanga, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police and National Security Edmund Sikua, and assistant police commissioners Walter Kola and Peter Aoraunisaka.

Under the constitution, Governor General appoints the Commissioner of Police acting in accordance with advice of the Prime Minister tendered after the Prime Minister has consulted the Police and Correctional Service Commission.

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