Thursday, 11 March 2010 11:07 AM

Let's Keep Voter Registration List Corrupt Free

Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu, has called on the public for their support to keep voter registration free of corruption.

Mr Haununu made the call in response to allegations made in the media that some people feared corruption among voter registration officials.

"The Electoral Commission shares the concern of law abiding citizens that registration be conducted freely and fairly and in accordance to the law," Mr Haununu said.

"If people have concerns, and have evidence to support these concerns, then we strongly urge them to bring this evidence to the Electoral Commission, or to the police, where the law has been broken."

"If there is evidence of wrong-doing during the current voter registration period, by either members of the public or registration officials, then this office wants to know and will take appropriate action."

Mr Haununu said the Electoral Commission's aim was to give everyone who is eligible to vote, the opportunity to vote once and once only to make their voice heard freely, clearly and fairly on election day."

"Despite the lack of law reform to improve the conduct of voter registration, the Electoral Commission is doing its best to make sure that everyone aged 18 and over is registered as a voter with one name only, in one place only for the upcoming national general election."

At the same time, Mr Haununu urged registration officials, especially in Honiara to quickly and carefully complete their task of registering new voters and taking people who have moved to another place or died, off the old voters' list, and return these forms to the Electoral Commission for data processing.

"The registration and election process are a national concern and are a national responsibility, and we are requesting people to put aside their allegiances and carry out their duty for the good of the nation."

"The Electoral Commission alone cannot conduct free and fair voter registration or elections. These exercises require nationwide support to rid the system of corruption and the corrupt behavior of a few individuals."

Registration officials have over two weeks left to visit people to check if they are on the old voters' list in the right place, or whether they must register as a new voter.