Voting month

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National general election is in March 2019: Electoral Commission

By Alfred Sasako

THE National General Election will be held in March next year, the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) has confirmed.

“But we will have to wait until December 15 to know the exact date,” SIEC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mose Saitala told Island Sun on Wednesday night.

Mr Saitala disclosed this when responding to a number of questions raised by Island Sun on the two-week delays in the roll-out of the voter registration, which will now commence on September 3, instead of August 20.

“(There are) two main reasons for the slippage in the date on the commencement of the voter registration update.

  1. there is a delay in the work of the Ministerial Tender Board (MHA) and the Central Tender Board in finalising shipping companies SIEC will hire to deliver and collect back our registration kits to/from all constituencies; and
  2. there is delay in the arrival of the computer batteries which will be used in computer laptops for the voter registration update. They are however arriving now by charter flight on Thursday this week,” Saitala said.

He said these problems were beyond the control of SIEC, adding there is no problem with money.

Saitala denied the slippage would affect the preparatory work for the National General Election (NGE).

“It will still be on its scheduled month, ie March. I hope this helps. More explanation will be forthcoming when the notice for the commencement of the voter registration has been gazetted.

“We won’t know it exactly until December 15. I am expecting that by December 15 I would know for certain that the SIEC has successfully delivered all its preparatory deliverables that would enable SIEC to determine then a date for the GG to proclaim as Election Day,” Saitala said.

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