By Alfred Sasako
THE by-election for East Makira Constituency and the Makira-Ulawa Provincial Government Election due at the end of the year are set to be used as a test case for combining two elections in one day.
The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) said this week, “there is a strong preference by the SIEC to conduct the by election together with the Makira/Ulawa Provincial election to test the value of combining the conduct of both national and provincial elections together in one day.”
“To date, the Minister of MPGIS has already proclaimed the provincial election for Makira province to be conducted on 12th December. So SIEC may well go with this date because of its preference to test case the combining of both elections in one day,” SIEC’s Electoral Chief Mose Saitala told Island Sun.
It is understood that finances for both elections are an issue and holding them both in one day would help ease the financial hardships being faced by the government.
The East Makira Constituency became vacant following the death of first time MP Charles Maefai last month. There are rumours that his widow, Lily Maefai, could be asked to contest the seat.
Sympathy votes could help her win the bye-election easily, one report suggested.