The East Honiara Bye-Election has a new Member of Parliament, Silas Milikada, a private businessman, won comfortably with a margin of well over 2000 votes.As reported in the Solomon Star, Milikada won the bye-election by 3,453 votes followed by Dr. George Manimu with 1,072 votes and Edward Ronia in third with 986 votes.
Counting continued until very late yesterday afternoon with strong police presence the whole time. Police Commissioner Peter Marshall stated earlier that it is important that people respect the result, irrespective of their candidate of choice as "that is what democracy is all about."
Sources close to one of the candidates stated that it is quite likely that a petition will follow now that the results are known. Supporters of Milikada say that given the wide margin the evidence or claims have to be quite compelling.
The East Honiara bye-election has been filled with drama, with candidates and supporters accusing certain camps of corrupt dealings during the election. The most vocal was Dr. Manimu, who called for re-election citing corrupt dealings and voting irregularities. Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said that the behavior of the former Permanent Secretary may have been illegal, although it is a matter for the electoral commission to pursue if they wish.