Australia’s Foreign Minister, Hon Julie Bishop, today announced that three members of the Australian Parliament will travel to Solomon Islands to observe its national elections on 19 November 2014.
Senator Linda Reynolds CSC will participate in the Commonwealth Observer Group to the 2014 Solomon Islands General Elections while Bert van Manen MP and Sharon Claydon MP will work with Australian observation teams.
“Our Parliamentarians’ presence during the election week demonstrates the close relationship between Australia and Solomon Islands, and Australia’s commitment to supporting democracy and stability in our region,” the Australian Foreign Minister said in a prepared statement.
“I commend the Solomon’s Government and community on their thorough preparations leading up to the election. Australia has worked closely with Solomon Islands to support the election, including by providing advisers to the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and supporting the introduction of the new biometric voter registration system, enabling the production of an accurate voter list.”
She added that Australia and Solomon Islands have worked closely together across a wide range of sectors for many years, and Australia has a strong track record of supporting stability and development in Solomon Islands.
“The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is internationally renowned as a highly successful stabilisation mission. It has helped to maintain law and order and build key institutions of state over the past decade.”
The Foreign Minister says Australia will provide approximately $168 million in development assistance to Solomon Islands this financial year across key sectors including education, health and law and justice.