Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands

The Speaker of the National Parliament is the Speaker of the National Parliament of the Solomon Islands. The position was established under section 64 of the Constitution of the Solomon Islands of 1978, when the country became independent from the United Kingdom. It is similar to the position of Speaker of the House of Commons in the U.K.; the Solomon Islands is a Commonwealth realm and maintains a Westminster system of government.[1]

Speaker of National Parliament of Solomon Islands
Incumbent
Patteson Oti

since 15 May 2019
StyleThe Right Honourable
AppointerNational Parliament
Term length4 years

The Speaker is elected to the post by Members of Parliament every four years, as mandated by Order 5 of the Standing Orders of the National Parliament. The latter Order stipulates that "Every citizen of Solomon Islands over the age of twenty-one and who is otherwise qualified for election as a Member shall be eligible for election as Speaker". Thus the Speaker is not necessarily chosen from among sitting MPs, unlike the procedure governing the election of the Speaker in the United Kingdom.[2] Indeed, Peter Kenilorea was not an MP when he was elected Speaker in 2001,[3] and Allan Kemakeza was elected Speaker after failing to retain his seat in Parliament in the 2010 general election.[4] The only person so far to have been a sitting MP when elected Speaker was Waita Ben Tabusasi, in 1989. He vacated his seat as MP for North East Guadalcanal upon assuming the duties of Speaker; the resulting by-election led to Hilda Kari becoming the first ever woman in the Solomon Islands Parliament.[5]

The Speaker's role, as per section 65 of the Constitution, is to "preside at any sitting of Parliament".[1] He or she is expected to "ensure that Members conduct themselves in accordance to the Standing Orders of National Parliament".[2]