The Solomon Islands Electoral Office (SIEO) has initiated an extensive Training of Trainers (ToT) program for Election Managers (EM) and Returning Officers (RO) of constituencies and wards, spanning from March 18th to the 23rd, in Honiara.

In response to the inclusion of Returning Officers for provincial wards in the joint elections, an unprecedented number of temporary polling officials are participating in the training.

The SIEO, following the amendment of election laws to accommodate synchronized elections, has assumed the responsibility of conducting both Parliamentary and Provincial as well as Honiara City Council Elections.

With over 200 officials in attendance, including 10 Election Managers, 10 Training Coordinators, 50 Returning Officers for the constituencies, and 143 Returning Officers for Provincial wards (excluding Western and Choiseul), the six-day training aims to equip senior polling and counting officials with the necessary knowledge and skills.

The SIEO has organized the participants into two groups. The first group, comprising representatives from Malaita, Guadalcanal, Honiara, and Central Islands, will undergo training from the 18th to the 20th of March, while the remaining officials will participate from the 21st to the 23rd of March.

The Training of Trainers focuses on familiarizing senior polling and counting officials with processes outlined in the Electoral Act 2018, the Provincial Assembly and Honiara City Council Act 2023, polling and counting procedures, and ensuring operational plans are in place and adequate election materials are available in the provinces.

These senior officials will subsequently conduct further training sessions for their respective polling and counting officials in their provinces ahead of polling day.

Acknowledging the vital role of senior polling officials in the SIEC’s joint election field operation, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Jasper Highwood Anisi emphasized the paramount importance of upholding integrity, independence, and impartiality when executing election duties amidst a potentially turbulent political environment.

"For elections to truly reflect the will of the people, core values including integrity, neutrality, transparency, fairness, and impartiality must be upheld," stated Mr. Anisi during the opening of the training.


Source: Press Release, SIEC