ELECTION EXPENSE PLEADING.

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Taro to face court today

BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

A man accused of failing to submit his expenses during the National General Election in 2019 will enter plea on October 13, 2022.

This is the case of Mathew Taro of Makira province.

Yesterday, his case was listed for plea however due to reasons raised in court his case was adjourned to October 13.

Taro was a candidate in the 2019 National General Election (NGE). He wass alleged to have failed to submit his statement of account.

Candidates who fail to make submissions were investigated and then were reported to the Police by the Solomon Island Electoral Commission. The Candidates were charged for failing to submit Election Expenses and Donation, contrary to section 125 (2) as read with section 69 (1) (a), (b) and section 107 (1) (b), (2) of the Electoral Act 2018 and section 9A (1) as Electoral (Amendment) Regulation 2019.

Police said after the Electoral Act 2018 was passed, it strengthened the Electoral Commission thereby making it eay as much as possible among other functions to deal with all complaints and breaches that come before it.

 Police said that compliance with section 69 was one of the requirements which account must be delivered within 90 days of the declaration of the election result.

Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears for the crown on the matter.

Meanwhile, candidates who contested the recent West Kwaio Constituency by-election in Malaita have until 26 December 2022 to file their expenses.

Acting Chief Electoral Officer Fredrick Bosoboe said as of yesterday, the six contestants have only 76 remaining days.

“Along with these election campaign expense accounts, the law also requires, candidates to disclose, all sources of funds or donations received towards their election campaign activities,” Bosoboe said

“Candidates must disclose sources of funds from which they received funding supports and as well as give detail report on how these funds were spent,” he added.

“These election campaign expense accounts must be submitted on a special prescribed approved form that can be collected from Electoral Commission office either in hard or soft copy or can also be downloaded online from Electoral Commission Official Website, www.siec.gov.sb .

“There are two forms that will be used to submit these expenses. 

“The first one is for the submission of all the expenses and the second one is the declaration form to certify the integrity of your report. 

“This declaration must be signed by the candidate and attached with the expense report.”

Mr Bosoboe highlighted that, failure to comply with these requirements by law, results in heavy penalties. 

“If a candidate fails to submit his or her election campaign expense accounts within the 90 days given period, he or she is in breach of the electoral law and would face a penalty of $20,000 fine and or 2 years imprisonment.

“On top of that, for each day that a candidate fails to submit the report after the lapsed of the 90 days period, he or she will be charged extra $100 fine for everyday he or she fails to submit after the lapsed of the 90 days given period.

“To avoid paying accumulation of this $100 unit each day for failing to submit, candidates are encouraged to must submit within this 90-day given period.”


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