Thursday, 30 September 2010 8:07 AM

Elections Conducted Satisfactorily: Commonwealth

An Observer Group from the Commonwealth, which observed the Solomon Islands National Parliamentary Elections of 4 August 2010, has produced its final report detailing the generally sound orchestration of the nation's elections, but raising a few key issues on which the country needs to improve upon.

The Group noted that in 2010, 75.2% of the population was registered as eligible voters even though government figures show that approximately 49% of the population is under the eligible voting age of 18 years.

The Observer Group noted that Electoral Commission of the Solomon Islands does not have sufficient control of its budget to make full preparations for a general election, including a full update of the voting register.

Concerns were raised over deliberate inflation of the voter register by multiple registration and, conversely, non-registration of voters likely to support an alternative candidate to the one favoured by the enumerator.

Multiple problems have arisen in the Solomon Islands, which plague elections and voting in all countries of the world; migration, multiple addresses, the need to attend a particular polling station, the death of somone on the voting register, the need to register and the need to update details. The Observer Group also noted the lack of identity requirements for voters.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province
By JAQUE FRIEDMAN New Zealand