The Taskforce on Electoral Reform in July 2022 successfully held consultations with the Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly and the wider community stakeholders, and the Honiara City Council on the proposed electoral reform on holding simultaneous elections (one day election) for the Parliamentary, Provincial Assembly and the Honiara City Council.

The consultation with Guadalcanal Province was held on the 14th and 15th of July.

 Hon. Premier for Guadalcanal Province in his remarks during the opening, welcomed the Taskforce and highlighted that “if we want change to strengthen our electoral process, this is the opportunity for us to contribute to make a positive change.”

In response the Chairman of the Electoral Commission Mr. Patteson John Oti acknowledged the Hon. Premier’s welcoming remarks and highlighted that the objective of the consultations was to hear the frank views of the Provincial Assembly members and the wider community representatives on the proposed concept of holding simultaneous elections and the proposed amendments to the election laws.

Mr. Oti said that, this Electoral Reform is founded on the strive for enhancement and strengthening the integrity and delivery of the electoral process in the country and it is a priority of the Electoral Commission and the Government.

During the consultations, one participant highlighted the importance of this consultation and reform.

“Initially I was against the combined or one day election but now I have been won over.  The synchronizing of all elections to happen in one day is a positive change”, He expressed.

 He urged everyone who were part of the consultation to share this positive change in their respective wards and villages.  

The Taskforce and the Commissioners were grateful for the overall support and invaluable contributions made by the Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly members and the wider community representatives.

Followed on, on the 27th July 2022, the Taskforce consulted the Honiara City Council.

The Honiara City Deputy Mayor in his opening remarks prudently advised the Electoral Commission, the Taskforce and the Honiara City Council that such reforms are very important and must be thoroughly examined.

“We support the move but at the same time, must be mindful not to create opportunity that will negatively impact our life”, the Deputy Mayor said.

The Honiara City Deputy Mayor said that it is important that we do not compromise election just because lack of fund.

Electoral Commissioner Mr Stanley Pirione acknowledged the sentiments shared by the Deputy City Mayor and assured the Members of the Councils and the Taskforce that, such reform was part of the Commission’s mandate and will continue to work on such reform.

“As technology advances and standards of living change, such change to the law is timely and the Council is very happy to be consulted”, Deputy City Mayor highlights.

“My council is hoping that the outcome of the consultation will provide a level playing field for all the parties involved”.

The idea of synchronization is to have all levels of elections held in one day, however, this needs consensus between these three levels of governing legislatively.

Four provincial governments and Honiara City Council have now been consulted. There are five more provinces to go.

Generally, feedbacks from the five provinces were fair and views shared and trend of discussions have becoming clear.

The Commission will continue to roll out its consultation program for the remaining provinces as scheduled and is looking forward for more fair and constructive contributions from the remaining provincial assemblies’ members and their stakeholders.

The remaining provinces are: -

•         Malaita

•         Temotu

•         Rennell and Bellona

•         Western; and

•         Choiseul.

The next province to be consulted is yet to be confirmed, however, the Taskforce is eager to consult the remaining provinces in 2022 except for Western and Choiseul Provincial Assemblies who will be consulted in year 2023 after their general elections in December 2022.

Councilors with Members of the taskforce and councils' heads of department during the consultation at Pacific Casino Hotel

 

Names and Symbols of Six (6) Successful nominated candidates who will contest the West Kwaio national parliamentary Seat on the 21st September, 2022.

There were five (5) male candidates with  one (1) female of which 2 were party candidates and 4 will contest as independent.

By-Election date for West Kwaio Constituency is set for 21st September, 2022.

For enquiry, please call SIEO enquiry line on Phone : 7222200

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The candidate nomination period  for the by-election was opended from 27th July to 10th  August, 2022. A period of 7 days.

Candidate omination was facilitated by the Returning Officer for West Kwaio Constituency, Mr.Pearson Simi, at the Nomination Centre at Maoa Village, West Kwaio Constituency.

Six (6) Candidates were duly nominated by the close of nominations this afternoon. There is  one (1) female and five (5) males.

Here are the names of candidates nominated.

No.

Candidate Name

1

JOHN DAUFANAMAE

2

JOHN ARON MANI

3

CLAUDIUS TEI'IF

4

JUDITH AHUAPATA FIKA

5

JOHN KENNEDY TAUFUNU

6

JACK WARAKA

A ballot paper draw was also held following the closure of nominations to determine the candidate standings order on the ballot paper. The draw was witnessed by candidate representatives, the election manager and election officials together with the public in and around Maoa Village in West Kwaio.

Candidates have until the 12th  of August to withdraw their nomination if  they have changed their intention to contest in the election.

Election official campaign is also open until 24 hours before polling day..

The Solomon Islands Election Commission wants to remind candidates that while doing their campaign, they must keep track on their campaign expenditures as each will have to file a  statement of expense account on any cost relating to election campaigning.

It is required by law that  candidates must file those expense account  along with disclosure of any financial assistance rendered towards their election campaigning activities.

To cast an informed vote, it is important that constituents take the chance to listen to campaign rallies organized by candidates.

By-Election date for West Kwaio Constituency is set for 21st September, 2022.

For enquiry, please call SIEO enquiry line on Phone : 7222200

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We have completed training for our ARO-Data this evening at the Multi Purpose Hall Conference Room.

The 2 days training program was aimed to equip our officers to be able to capture voter details and process data when registering eligible voters during the upcoming Western and Choiseul Provinces voter registration update.

Each of the officers will be deployed to respective constituencies for the voter registration update. The update begins 2nd August 2022, for not more than 21 days in the field.

The training was conducted by our trainers from the Training Unit and the Datacenter Unit.

We wish our officers all the best in carrying out their duties.

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SIEO Press

Team Choiseul ARO Data Officers

 

Team Western ARO Data Officers

 

 By-Election Date for West Kwaio Constitency is set for 21st September, 2022.

Acting Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Fredrick Bosoboe revealed this date after publication of the Election Date notice in the Gazzette yesterday 26th July, 2022.

In the election law, this legal gazzetted notice commences the candidates nomination period starting from today 27th July”,Mr Bosoboe said.

All intending candidate have until 10th of August 2022 to physically do their nomination with the Returning Officer< Mr. Pearson Simi, for the by-election.

Nomination center is at Maoa Village within the West Kwaio Constituency.

Nomination will be done electronically  and therefore requiresintending candidates  to do their nomination to physically present at the nomination center so that their photos can be captured to be printed on  the ballot paper.

Acting Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Fredrick Bosoboe reminds candidates that intending candidates to adhere to nomination requirements to avoid disqualification.

“An intending candidate must be nominated by 3 registered voters who are registered and reside in the constituency where the candidate wants to stand, must be a registered voter for the constituency he/she intends to run for, must pay a none-refundable nomination fee of $5,000, must resign from his/her job if he/she is a public servant , must not be involved in any work in relation to the conduct of voter registration within the last 12 months, and must file his/her nomination with the constituency Returning Officer before close of the nomination period,” Mr Bosoboe explains.

He added that a candidate who represents a political party along section 65 of the Electoral Act must submit along with his/her nomination application form, a letter from the registrar of the office of political party commission certifying that; he/she is a registered member of the political party for which he/she seeks nomination for and that he/she is a party candidate.

Mr Bosoboe call on all intending candidates to note that, all nomination must be done by 4pm Wednesday 10th of August, 2022.

The Acting Chief Electoral Officer further explained that the election campaign period also commences after publication of the election date notice.

“Along section 62, It must end 24 hours before the polling day.”

Mr Bosoboe said that, the law remains the same and therefore, the penalties for breaching these election offenses remain unchanged.

He appealed to all good voters of  West Kwaio Constituency to continue to support the election process towards polling day..

The Electoral Commission would like to acknowledge West Kwaio Consituents for your understanding and patience as it gears towards conducting the by-election

For enquiry, please call SIEO enquiry line on Phone : 7222200

 

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“If only voters are informed with correct information that should help them to participate fully, and if only voters understand electoral processes and systems that assures them of their security and secrecy of their votes and participation, they can be confident and motivated to freely exercise their right by casting an informed and correct vote for a desired leadership”.

“And if only awareness teams are well trained and given the right information, supported with adequate resources to enable them to reach individual communities and hold well-presented awareness information sessions, then we can be assured that voters will be informed and be able to vote wisely”

These are the words of the Civic and Voter Awareness training workshop facilitator Mrs Philothea Paul during the Workshop in Gizo last week.

“These are the key objectives of this 4 days training workshop”, Mrs Paul said 

Chief Electoral Officer and Commissioner (Acting) Mr Fredrick Bosoboe Congratulates the Civic Teams from Western and Choiseul provinces for Successfully completed the four days training Workshop Last Week.

“Congratulations Western and Choiseul Civic and voter awareness teams for your time and commitment to successfully complete the civic and voter awareness Training Workshop”, Mr Bosoboe said.

It was an intense four (4) days training delivery as civic teams from Choiseul and Western Provinces are equipped with theoretical content and practical sessions in preparing them for the planned provincial wide face to face civic and voter awareness program in the next couple weeks.

Civic and voter awareness teams have worked, walked and talked it through in understanding a full electoral knowledge information package covering topics from governance and election, gender and social inclusive, planning, budgeting and finances including introductory chapters on preparations and delivering a face-to-face awareness program.

It was a great deal of learning new knowledge acquired during the training, as many has attested to and have expressed in the training evaluations. It is also an eye opener for many and the Electoral Office has been able to gain more confidence in its electoral processes.

“When I heard people talking about election, the first thought that came to my mind is corruption and this workshop is an eye opener for me as I now come to understand the processes of election “Mrs Freda Moveni from North Vella la Vella shared her sentiment after the training.

“All I do is cast my ballot paper in exercising my right to vote without understanding what it means. From this training, I now came to realise that its more than casting a vote. I now understand and be able to link my vote to the bigger picture in governance and leadership”, Mr Jeff Nick of North East Choiseul Constituency also expressed.

Both provincial teams are expected to deploy into their respective constituencies over the weekend to start conducting awareness programs in the communities from 26th July to 17th August, 2022.

The civic teams will move in advance of the registration and election teams with all civic and voter messages, preaching the importance of participating, exercising their rights taking part in the higher decision-making process with their ballots in a correct way.

The teams will be moving ahead with the voter registration BVR team movement schedule, to pin up in communities to aware people on when the teams will be coming to and closer to their villages.

They will advance with the message to eligible registrants who require to register for the first time and those who need to updated their voter details to be able to do so when the teams come around to their villages and communities, encouraging them to register. 

Registration is a must to exercising your voting right is one of the messages as the law requires a voter to appear on the voter list on a polling day before be able to be given a ballot paper to make her choice in choosing his/her representative on a poling day, Mrs Paul said.

“The message on what it means with the phase ‘the power of the ballot paper’ and What it means, ‘to updating your voter details and what to do’ are some of the messages that these team will be preaching during their visits in the communities”, She adds.

It is a complete pack for voters to be informed on information that will motivate them to participate in the democratic process of election.

Mr Bosoboe, Acting CEO, highlighted that to have face-to-face awareness programs are never cheap in the context of Solomon Islands and to bring such programs to Choiseul and Western Provinces with many scattered Islands will be logistically challenging.

In enabling this important project to roll out to our communities in Choiseul and Provinces, Solomon Islands Electoral Commission greatly appreciates the continuous support from its UNDP Project Strengthening Electoral Cycle in Solomon Islands Project - SECSIP for co-funding this face-to-face awareness program.

SIEO urged communities in and around Western and Choiseul Provinces to look out for these awareness groups to support and receive them into their communities.

Check your community notice boards for the schedules for these visits of these awareness teams and the registration data teams. These schedules will also be posted out on Electoral Commission Official website: www.siec.gov.sb or on Electoral Commission Face Book page.

For enquiries, you can also call the enquiry line on Phone 7222200.

 

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