Wednesday 18th November 2020 is a public Holiday for North East Guadalcanal and Central Honiara Constituencies. The two constituencies will go to the polls on that day to elect their new representative in Parliament.
Chief Electoral Officer, Mrs Jane Waetara confirmed in a statement upon receiving a copy of the gazette notice by Minister of Home Affairs and advice from the Attorney General.
Mrs. Waetara clarified, that public Offices and businesses house that are located within the boundaries of these two constituencies may observe this day as public holiday.
She further added that, public offices and business houses operating within the boundary of north east Guadalcanal and central Honiara constituencies who wishes to open their normal business hours on 18th November, must note that, the labor Act prescribed that any person who works on a gazette public holiday shall be paid on holiday rates.
Offices and businesses outside the two constituencies boundary should go on normal day-to-day business operation as the public holiday does not apply to them.
Voters who are working for businesses that are located outside the boundaries of these two constituencies will have to make special arrangement with their respective companies’ human resource management to find time to vote.
Section 116 of the Electoral Act 2018 has also provided for employers to release employees who seeks to release to vote on election day. Failure to allow employees to vote is an election offence.
Employees regardless of where they work in or outside these two constituencies boundaries, they must consult and make arrangements with their employers if they want to vote on election day.
Failures to release employees is an election offense and is liable to a penalty of 10,000 dollars fine.
Electoral Act 2018, section 146 (2) subsequentially amends the Public Holiday Act that polling day other than national general election is a public holiday in any particular constituency.
Polling Day in National General Elections are public Holiday by default, however, in the case for by-elections, election day are only declared public holiday for a particular constituency in a gazette by responsible Minister.
The declared public holiday is only for that constituency concerned in which the by-election is happening.