BY SAMIE WAIKORI
WEST Kwaio constituency and its provincial ward 28 held peaceful by-elections yesterday.
The by-elections, especially for ward 28, was second to test the synchronize election system and generally things went well during the polling.
Speaking during the opening of polling at Bina village yesterday, Chairman of Solomon Islands Electoral Commission, Pattison Oti acknowledged the people of West Kwaio for turning up for the by-elections.
“Today is an important day for ward 28 and West Kwaio constituency,” Oti said.
“What you will witness particularly for ward 28 of West Kwaio is for the first time to vote for two ballot boxes at the same time,” he added.
“And you’ll test out the new voting system where one ballot for your provincial member and the other for your member of parliament.”
Oti explained that this is a trial to what SIEC wants to put in place “synchronized election” where voters will vote their members of provincial assemblies and members of parliament at the same day.
He said the initiative is trying to review the current system of hosting separate elections for both province and national only for a one election.
Oti said in light of the initiative, a taskforce established under SIEC had consulted Malaita Provincial Assembly and stakeholders in the province on the policy this week.
Island Sun observed a number of polling stations in the constituency yesterday and Election officials expressed the strangeness of the new voting system.
They said the system is new, however voters adapted to it well with their guidance and generally a successful synchronized election particularly for ward 28 and West Kwaio constituency by-election.
The POs said there was also calmness amongst voters and people everywhere in the constituency during the polling.
All ballot boxes were retrieved to Auki after the polls closed at 5pm yesterday for safe storage by the police and counting will start at 9am today.