BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
REPORTS continue revealing from the issue of cross border registration now becoming more interesting too as some reveal certain prominent people one could not imagine off to involve in influencing.
To note, certain names cannot be revealed as investigation is still carried through, however, one of the recent prominent figures in the country being revealed also was made known just yesterday by Ngella people travelling across to Honiara to register for a certain Constituency in Malaita Province that the prominent individual they mentioned is an intending candidate in.
Ngella people admitted receiving assistance of given bags of rice plus assistance in fuel for travelling and giving small tokens of appreciation promising them to return on the 27th of this month for more cash.
To add flavour from reports, there seem to be the same promise by many intending candidates on that very same date (tomorrow) to offer extra cash of appreciation to registrants which is a very interesting day to monitor according to public observation sources wishing for anonymity.
From such practices reported, the Office of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) strongly warns both intending candidates and registrants to refrain from adversely influencing the registration process understood to be yet currently on progress.
SIEC in a Press Release has also confirmed receiving reports of intending candidates or their agents facilitating the movement of people between constituencies to register (transfer) to a constituency they are not eligible to register in.
According to SIEC, one of the serious offences under the Electoral Act is to influence a voter.
“It can also be seen as engaging in campaign activity outside the campaign period,” remind SIEC.
“A person who engages in a campaign activity outside the campaign period for the election commits an offence that comes with a penalty of $20,000 or 2 years imprisonment, or both.”
SIEC strongly warns intending candidates to refrain from activities that may amount to campaigning.
The Commission also extends strong warning to registrants that transferring registration details to a constituency one is not eligible to register and vote in is also a serious offense under the Electoral Act.
“You could be making a false declaration. It is also providing misleading information to registration officials. Giving misleading information document to an election official comes with a penalty of $50,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both.”
The Commission has issued this warning before the commencement of the BVR update exercise early this month and continues to urge people and intending candidates to do the right thing.
It is understood that the Electoral Act 2018 has already come into force, however, a number of sections will come into force at a later date.
SIEC reminds people who are yet to register to do so before the 27th of September (tomorrow) when the BVR update should end.