The Governor General Sir Frank Kabui has signed the proclamation for the 2014 National Elections to be held on Wednesday 19th November.
The signing and gazetting of the proclamation also marks the beginning of a two week nomination process for those intending to contest the polls.
More than 280,000 voters, (287,567) have registered for the elections with the final list showing just over 139,000 female (139,059) and 148,000 (148,508) male electors.
The Biometric Voter Registration Process successfully removed 160,000 fraudulent, incorrect or duplicate registrations.
The new clean voter list is expected to contribute to the running of a fair and credible election.
In related news, twelve political parties have officially entered the race, having met the requirements set by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties. It is understood few more are in the process of being registered.
The elections will see how effective several important reforms have been, namely the new biometric registration system and the new Political Integrity Bill.
Early indications are that while the biometric system will help curb double voting, it has also made it easy for candidates to track and lock in support before the elections. One such practice is the purchase of ID cards, a practice that is said to be widespread.
The Political Parties Bill has certainly increased Party formation based on set rules, but it remains to be seen whether such top down reform will hold when it comes to the formation of government.
With few weeks left before the elections, and with all the hype surrounding recent reforms aimed at curbing bad behavior, it seems clear that all will still hinge on the infamous devils night, an unfortunate feature in today’s politics.