Tikopians cast vote in Ward elections

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THE second chief in Tikopia’s cultural heirarchy was the first to cast his vote when voting for the Tikopia/Anuta ward by-election yesterday morning.

The Chief is among 1,307 registered voters who have participated in the by-election on the remote eastern part of Solomon Islands.

The Ward By-Election for Anuta and Tikopia (ward 16) Island had become necessary after the Member of Provincial Assembly in Temotu province was terminated.

Freelance journalist, Jeremy Gwao, who covers the election process on Tikopia, confirmed that the Chief was very happy to participate in the by-election.

“The Chief encourages his people to exercise their democratic rights to vote in the election,” Gwao said.

There were four chiefs on Tikopia who are ranked hierarchical from first to fourth level.

Tikopia is one of the strong chiefly societies in the country, which is a high island and bigger than Anuta.

The people are of Polynesian descent but have co-existed in the Melanesian society for many years now.

Tikopia has three polling stations and one polling station on Anuta.

Six candidates contested the by-election.

Gwao said it was a smooth by election where many people turned up to cast their votes.

He said six police officers manned the three polling stations on Tikopia and four police officers on Anuta.

In the meantime, by-election for South Choiseul constituency and Kirugela electoral ward in Choiseul also concluded yesterday.

The By-Election in South Choiseul Constituency follows former Member of Parliament, Robertson Galokale losing his seat in an election petition case after the National General Election in April 2019.

The North East Choiseul Kirugela ward by-election follows the passing away of their Member of Provincial Assembly.

Counting and declaration of elections should start over the weekend for Tikopia/Anuta on Lata provincial station and Taro provincial station in Choiseul.