Recipe for trouble

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Registration ground at Town Ground.

Voter registration encounters more worrying issues

 

By Alfred Sasako

AS voter registration enters its final week, troubling issues continue to emerge with some predicting that next year’s National General Election could end in a bloodbath, particularly over voter transfers.

In Honiara, potential voters who attended the Town Ground Registration Centre on Wednesday were told the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission had run out of Photo ID cards.

“We can get your names and other details, but we are not able to give you your Photo ID because we have run out of it. They told us to come back and check at 1pm,” an angry woman told Island Sun yesterday.

“We came back and waited until 4pm, but we were never issued with a Photo ID,” the woman said.

“What is going to happen to us. There is no doubt in my mind this is the work of MPs, because how can the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission run out of Photo ID cards?,” she said.

A Taxi driver told Island Sun he witnessed two truckloads of people who arrived in Honiara from Western Province yesterday morning.

“The trucks loaded them and took them to the Town Ground Voter Registration Centre. I don’t know who brought them in. It is obvious some MPs in Honiara have done that,” the Taxi driver said.

“This whole election thing is shaping up to be a troublesome one. And this is the result of what our elected Members of Parliament have turned this country into. It is really sad,” he said.

Yet another Taxi driver told Island Sun two nights ago that the 2019 National General Election could end up in a bloodbath.

“If that happens it would be over voter transfers. There are legitimate and legally acceptable reasons for voter transfer but the scale at which it is happening now, particularly in Honiara is really frightening.

“Opposing camps could end up having a go at which other,” the taxi driver said.

The issues are not confined to voter transfers. A supporter of a sitting MP has questioned whether it is legal for someone to contest a Constituency where he has never voted in previously.

“Is it legal for someone who has never registered to vote in the Constituency previously to contest that electorate?” the inquisitive supporter asked.

“I believe it is illegal.

“ I know of two people who have done that and I am hoping that the electoral process is upheld so that it is not abused,” the man said.