By Alfred Sasako
VOTER registration initially set for August 20 has been changed, the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission announced in a text message sent to tens of thousands of mobile phone users yesterday.
September 3 is now the new date, according to the text message.
“Voter Registration for the 2019 NGE will start Sept 3, 2018 and not August 20. Make sure u register and update your voter details,” the text message said.
There was no official explanation for the two-week delay. An email sent to the Electoral Commission enquiring about the delay and its impact on the overall preparations for the National General Election was not responded to.
It is understood that the delay had something to do with training programs for officers who would be taking part in the election, expected at the end of February next year.
It is not clear whether training is the only issue.
The 12th Parliament will be dissolved on December 17 this year. The next NGE must be held within four months of dissolution of Parliament.
To date the Electoral Commission had completed training for officers who would be supervising voter registrations throughout the nation.
Returning Officers are now undergoing their training to be followed by two other groups, including those who would input the election data.
The Electoral Commission is planning to deploy about 125 teams across the country for next year’s election – an increase of 33 teams over the number deployed at the 2014 National General Election.
It is understood the next Parliament must be in place before April 14 next year or there would be total shut down of the government system, particularly with spending of public funds.