The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission will begin trainings this week for Police Officers and Polling Officials in preparation for the upcoming Ngella By-Election.

The training is for thirty one police officers who will maintain the security and 78 polling officers who have been assigned to fascilitate the voting process.

There are ten (10) Police Officers from Honiara Police Head Quarter and twenty one Provincial Police Officers that will assist in providing security.

Chief Electoral Officers, Mr. Polycarp Haununu said that the training is a vital part in the election process particularly when engaging people outside of election field who are new to the system.

"Police officers play a very crucial role in the whole election process especially maintaining security during the polling day and during transportation of ballot papers to and from polling places to counting centers for counting and must be trained on these very important task in relations to enforcing election laws”, Mr Haununu said.

Mr Haununu said that ‘Election Security’ is one area of concern by the general voting public when it comes to election. The presence of police officers during polling day and through to counting centers create an environment that people feel safe and exercise their voting right freely without fear of any form of intimidations during election by candidates, their supporters or fellow family members. Their presence establishes people’s trust and confidence in the handling of their ballot papers and the secrecy of their votes.

Mr Haununu stated that the trainings for the Presiding Officers and the Polling Assistants will also take place at the same time as police officers. Three (3) separate training venues has been arranged for the three different trainings groups however all will be on the 25th February, starting at 9:00am.

All Polling Officials and Security Officers should be ready for deployment to all respective polling stations to prepare the polling places on the 26th February before Polling Stations open at 7 am on the next day.

Polling Stations open at 7am and close at 5pm on 27th February 2013 and all voters from Ngella Constituency to make sure cast their votes before the close of polls.


Source: Press Release, Electoral Commission, Solomon Islands