Transparency and accountability missed out from parliament’s deliberations on the current national budget
Radio & Television Tonga News 31/07/2017
Political Analyst and former parliamentarian, Dr Sitiveni Halapua said, when the budget was fast tracked in parliament with very little or no chance for discussion on most of the issues, then there was a breach of the two most important principles of democracy- transparency and accountability.
In an exclusive interview, Dr Halapua said the right of the people and tax payers to know the way government is spending its money on national development activities as well as managing the affairs of the country was being denied because there was hardly and deliberation on the budget.
He said that when authorities do not provide details or account to people on their affairs, nor impart the information and details of what they are entitled to know, then accountability and transparency are breached and corruption and poor governance thrive.
On the subject of the current political situation of the country, Dr Halapua said democracy is still obscured and many people are still confused about the way democratic principles are followed and adhered to.
He said many information on governments running of the day to day affairs of the nation are not transparent and very inconsistent. Information from cabinet often clashes with parliament and even with the prime minister. It is very difficult for us to tell what is right from assumptions.
Dr Halapua said, these are signs of an infant democracy and will take years for us to be mature.
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