Friday, 9 July 2010 9:21 AM

Candidates Position on Ballot Paper Decided

The position of candidates on the ballot paper for the National General Election has been drawn by Returning Officers across the country yesterday.

At the close of nominations, Returning Officers in each constituency drew the names of candidates to decide their position on the ballot paper from first to last, given that it is now a single ballot system.

Returning Officers conducted the draw in the presence of candidates and their agents and members of the public to make sure the process was open and transparent.

Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu, said that the names of every candidate are put into a box and then drawn one by one to decide which candidate appears first on the ballot paper, which one appears second and so on.

"The draw is conducted in public according to regulations introduced in 2005 when Solomon Islands introduced the single ballot box system, and according to advice received from the Attorney General's Chambers," Mr Haununu said.

"Because National General Elections use one ballot paper only with the names of every candidate and their symbol, we must draw the names to decide freely and fairly which candidate appears first on the ballot paper, and which appears last."

Mr Haununu said that after nominations closed today, candidate names and their symbol would be published across the country.

"From Friday 9 July, Returning Officers will be posting a list of candidates standing in each constituency."

"People should check for themselves the candidates standing in their constituency and the symbol they have been allocated by the Returning Officer."

The list will have the name of the candidate, the names of the people who nominated them and the symbol that they have been given.

Mr Haununu said that people wanting to hear important election information could listen to the Electoral Commission awareness program on SIBC on Saturday evenings after the 7 o'clock news, or listen to service messages regarding the provincial awareness program currently touring Western and Guadalcanal Provinces.

"Our aim is to give people as much awareness as possible about how to vote, penalties and the election process so that people can help the Electoral Commission conduct a free, fair and safe election," Mr Haununu said.

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