Non-compliant NGE candidates referred to police


REMAINING candidates of the 2019 National General Election (NGE) failing to submit campaign ‘Statements of Account’ are now referred to the police to impose penalties.

It is up to the police now to put together cases for the Court said Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mr Mose Saitala to Island Sun.

He confirms that all those who were late and had not filed their statement of account have been referred to the Police last week.

“It will be for the Police now to put together these cases for the Court to impose penalties depending on the severity of the case and mitigating factors candidates might be presenting to the Court,” said CEO Saitala.

SIEC for the past two weeks since after the due date on July 20 for submissions of campaign statements of account has been calling for NGE remaining candidates who have not submitted campaign statements to file them in order for the daily $100-fine under Section 69 of the Electoral Act 2018 to cease.

If not then SIEC said the fine will continue to accumulate till the candidates are prosecuted and penalised.

It is understood that from the much awaited SIEC List of 2019 NGE candidates who had submitted their Statements of Account to SIEC released last week, 14 candidates out of the 331 contesting the 2019 NGE have not yet submitted their statements.

Under the electoral law, it is a requirement that all candidates, successful and unsuccessful, must file their campaign Statement of Account 90 days after the publication of NGE election results.

2019 NGE results were published on April 19 seeing July 20 was when the 90 days period given for submission of statements of account lapsed.

Under Section 69 on campaign expenses in the Electoral Act 2018, it states;

  1. Within 90 days after the publication of an election result under section 107, a candidate in the election must submit to the CEO a statement of account specifying:

(a) All expenses incurred by the candidate in relation to the candidate’s campaign for election; and (b) the source of all funds (including the amount received from each source) used to meet those expenses.

  1. The regulations may make provision for the preparation and content of the statement of account.

Under Section 125; Campaign expenses and donations:

(1) A candidate whose election campaign expenses exceed $500,000 commits and offence.

Maximum Penalty: 50,000 penalty units or 5 years imprisonment, or both.

(2) A candidate who fails to comply with the requirements of section 69 commits an offence.

Maximum Penalty:

(a) 20,000 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment, or both; and

(b) 100 penalty units for each day the offence continues.

(3) A candidate commits an offence if the candidate accepts a campaign donation from:

(a) A person who is not a citizen of Solomon Islands; or

(b) A company with at least one shareholder who is not a citizen of Solomon Islands.

Maximum Penalty: 50,000 penalty units or 5 years imprisonment, or both.

(4) In this section, “campaign donation” means any transfer of property made, otherwise than by will, without consideration or with inadequate consideration that is intended to be used, or is used, solely or substantially for a purpose related to an election.

On their website, SIEC commends the candidates mentioned in the submission of campaign statements List who have complied with section 69 of the Electoral Act 2018.

“Although some candidates have filed their statements of account later than the deadline, SIEC is still appreciative of the fact that they have complied with section 69 of the Act.

“Remember that the obligation of a candidate, who contested the 2019 NGE, to comply with section 69 of the Act, will not go away until he/she has filed his/her statement of account,” said SIEC’s CEO.

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