Thursday, 5 August 2010 9:11 AM

RAMSI Flies Ballot Papers to Malaita

RAMSI's Participating Police Force (PPF) has assisted the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission deliver ballot papers to Malaita Province in time for yesterday's poll.

A PPF helicopter flew to Auki on Monday and then onto a number of remote constituencies in Malaita including East and West Are Are, North Malaita, Small Malaita and Lau Baelelea to deliver ballot papers and other election materials after the Electoral Commission made an urgent request for assistance.

A delay in printing combined with the current bad weather had hampered original plans by the Electoral Commission to distribute materials to remote parts of the province by boat.

The Commander of RAMSI's Participating Police Force, Wayne Buchhorn, said RAMSI was willing to assist the election process as appropriate.

"RAMSI police and military contingents are currently working closely with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) in the lead-up to the elections. Supporting the RSIPF in ensuring effective safety and security measures are in place for this election is our highest priority."

The assistance with the timely delivery of ballot papers was simply an extension of this priority, Mr Buchhorn said.

The Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu, thanked RAMSI for their quick response to the Electoral Commission's request.

"Logistics and transport in Solomon Islands are critical to the election operation and we are appreciative of RAMSI's support."

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