By Robert Iroga in Honiara
The Malaita for Democracy (M4D) group has been declared an illegal organisation because of the alleged role of individuals in last month’s riots in the capital Honiara.
The Governor-General and Commander in Chief of Solomon Islands, Sr David Vunagi, declared M4D an unlawful society under section 66 (2) (ii) of the Penal Code from last Saturday.
The declaration was made after investigations conducted by Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) identified a number of people linked to M4D as having “played critical roles in the recent riots”.
In a media statement, the national government said that M4D was not and had never been formally registered under any laws of Solomon Islands.
The government said M4D also played the central role in organising and rolling out the protest in Auki which barred elected provincial members from entering the Provincial Assembly Chambers.
The actions of M4D were illegal and constituted acts against the good governance of Solomon Islands, the statement said.
The government added that the protest in Auki had hindered elected members of the Provincial Assembly from discharging their function under the Provincial Government Act 1997.
Suppression of constitutional rights
“This is an interference with or inciting to interfere with the administration of the law which resulted in the suppression of the constitutional rights of Malaita provincial members,” the government statement said.
Reports from the RSIPF had indicated that M4D had openly advocated for the protest in Honiara and was instrumental in the escalation of the riots.
“These actions also include strategic planning by staging disruptive actions such as setting of vehicles on fire and inciting violence. Also, M4D have openly advocating for the overthrow of a democratically elected government,” the national government stated.
The statement added that based on the findings of the RSIPF the Governor-General by virtue of his status as the Command in Chief of Solomon Islands had declared M4D an unlawful society.
The M4D was seen as the pressure group for the Malaita provincial government (MPG).
Robert Iroga is editor of SBM Online. Republished with permission.