The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission has welcomed a team of domestic election observers led by local NGO umbrella group, Development Services Exchange.

Yesterday the Electoral Commission accredited a team of 6 observers from DSE that will focus on Honiara and Guadalcanal on Election Day

“Domestic observation is a very important part of the electoral process and it is very pleasing to see that DSE has been able to put a team together,” Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu.

“More than 160 observers have been accredited by the Electoral Commission including the Commonwealth Observer Group, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Australian National University.”

The Australian National University Team has also engaged 60 local staff to assist on its project.

The SIEC says it’s important that observer groups are completely independent from the Commission.

“Our only role with regard to observers is to provide them with accreditation, information and access to SIEC sites,” Mr Haununu said.

“We are not, and should not, be responsible for setting up observer groups as was claimed in some recent newspaper reports.”

The SIEC understands that some donor agencies, including the European Union, made funding available for Domestic Election Observation projects but did not receive any applications.

Several members of the Honiara based diplomatic corps will also be involved in election observation in a number of locations throughout the country.

Press Release: SIEC