POLLING DAY

Today, April 17, a day for registered voters to choose their political representatives through voting process

BY MAVIS PODOKOLO

TODAY – April 17, 2024 – is an important day for all registered voters to cast their votes at their assigned polling stations with the aim to choose their political representatives through voting process.   

Voting starts at 7am and closes at 4pm.

A national address takes place at 6.45am shortly before voting starts, signifying the beginning of this historic event.

Philothea Paul, communications manager for Solomon Islands Electoral Commission Electoral (SIEC) in a recent media debrief on Friday last week said, “If you are registered voter and your name is on the final voter list, you’ll get two ballot papers to cast your votes.

“But for eligible voter in Choiseul and Western Province, you’ll get one ballot paper to vote for your national representative,” Ms Paul said.

She adds that if any voter is still in the queue for the polling station by 4pm they will be allowed to vote.

“Any voter who arrives after 4pm today will not be allowed,” Paul said.   

She adds, due to security and safety reasons the polling stations will be closed early to allow boxes to be retrieved to counting centres during daylight hours of today.

This is the country’s first-ever joint elections, in which both the national elections for the national parliament and the provincial elections, and the Honiara City Council elections, are held.

In this 2024 joint elections, there are 334 candidates competing in the 50 constituencies for the parliamentary seats.

This is just one more candidate more than the 2019 National General Election, which had 333 candidates.

In all the provincial and Honiara City Council wards, except for Duidui ward in South Guadalcanal, there are 905 candidates running for office. Originally, there were seven candidates nominated for Duidui Ward.

Nearly 400 observers both international and domestic are observing the elections, adding transparency and accountability to the process.

The 2023 registration recorded a total of 420,184 voters, and increase of 132,617 compared to 2018 registration ahead of the 2019 elections.

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