BY NED GAGAHE
MPA for Valasi Ward 13 in East Central Guadalcanal Constituency has called on registration authorities for the upcoming National General Elections 2024 to scrutinise alleged cross-border registrants in Valasi Ward.
Alfred Siake Lini made the call yesterday in a statement urging registration authorities to work closely with the village chiefs and elders to scrutinise new incoming registrants.
Lini stressed that ‘cross-border registration’ leaves more room for electoral bribery and corruption.
“Cross-border registration leaves a huge gap for corrupt practices such as bribery and vote-buying. These practices are illegal and should not be taken lightly in Valasi Ward or East Central Guadalcanal Constituency, for that matter,”
“I appeal to the Registration Authority to work closely with the village chiefs and elders to scrutinize those new incoming registrants. Those who have no cultural and blood ties or are non-residents of Valasi Ward or East Central Guadalcanal can be rejected immediately.”
The MPA said that the long-term impact of cross-border voters in any constituency marginalizes the indigenous constituents or populace from having access to basic services such as health, education, and infrastructure.
He adds that there is a high chance that the winning candidate will tend to focus more on the cross-border voters than his or her indigenous constituents.
He furthered that any candidate who wins in Valasi Ward or East Central Guadalcanal Constituency due to cross-border voters, who do not satisfy the Electoral Act 2018, that is having no cultural or blood ties and being non-resident in that particular constituency for more than six months, is a result of corrupt electoral practices.
“This clearly shows that indigenous people or constituents do not have trust in candidate to lead them; hence, why he or she resorts to bribing people from other places to vote for him or her,” the MPA said.
The Solomon Islands Electoral Act 2018, stated that any voter is entitled to register in a constituency if he or she either lives there for over six months or ‘if the person is entitled to be or is a member of a group, tribe, or line indigenous to the constituency’.
According to GP Media there were 54,000 applications that were transferred for registration to another constituency, or about 15 percent of all registered voters, during the last national general election, although it is unclear how many were objected to during the Objections Period.
The MPA for Valasi Ward further generalises that the long-term
The registration period for the National General Election 2024 is from September 4th–29th.