12 Aug 2010

Solomon Islands Electoral Commission denies corruption claims

9:02 am on 12 August 2010

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission is defending itself against claims last week's election was corrupt.

Two defeated MPs have called for the chief electoral officer Polycarp Haununu to be sacked because they say an improper registration process resulted in the double registration of voters.

Jo O'Brien reports

"The claims were made by former Central Honiara MP Nelson Ne'e and former East Honiara MP Charles Dausabea, who told SIBC they are considering lodging petitions against the Electoral Commission. Mr Dausabea says the double registration cost him votes because residents of East Honiara had gone to the provinces to vote. But the chair of the commission Sir Peter Kenilorea says it put an amendment Bill to the last Parliament which aimed to give the Commission the power to remove double registrations and the names of people who had passed away. He says its unfortunate the bill was not passed by Parliament in time for the start of voter registration. Sir Peter is calling on new MPs to amend legislation so a better voting list can be produced."

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands Chief Electoral Officer, Polycarp Haununu, says interim reports from international and local observers from last week's General Election have declared the election free and fair.

A release from the Electoral Commission says nearly 400 international observers were involved in visits to about half of the nation's 900 polling stations.

Included in initial recommendations by observers for future elections are a cleaning of the voters list to avoid double voting, and being allowed to vote after 5:30pm.