The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission has organized the workshop in Honiara for its staff and all Provincial election officers to discuss the successes, challenges and issues experienced during the National Biometric Voter Registration process and the National General Election in 2014.
“Legislative change, strong financial support and early preparations are some of the key factors that are critical to achieving free, fair and credible elections,” was one of the messages last week.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Fred Fakarii and Chief Electoral Officer Polycarp Haununu both praised the efforts of all electoral officials during the registration and election period.
Mr Haununu said running elections is a risky and challenging job especially with limited funds, transportation difficulties and unpredictable weather conditions to reach out to remote areas.
“Dealing with issues faced and rectifying them in the field as shared and having a successful, free and fair election to people’s satisfaction is something that you should be proud off,” Mr Haununu added.
Workshop participants have discussed and forwarded their recommendations for future elections to the Electoral Commission for further consideration.
Mr Haununu said some of the issues identified and recommendations made need legislative review which requires strong political will from national leaders.
Permanent Secretary Fred Fakarii said early planning and strong financial support are key factors for conducting successful elections.
“To ensure smooth implementation of all electoral activities in the future, preparation should be done well ahead thus need timely availability of funds,” Mr Fakarii said.
The workshop was held for officials from Makira, Temotu, Rennell and Bellona, Honiara and Guadalcanal provinces.
A similar workshop will be held in Auki from April 13-15 for Malaita and Central Provinces and another from April 27-29 in Gizo for Western and Choiseul provinces.
Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit