Election Observers deploy to the provinces
The Commonwealth Observers Group in Solomon Islands for elections deploy to seven of the country's nine provinces.
The Commonwealth Observers Group in Solomon Islands for elections on Wednesday are deploying to seven of the country's nine provinces.
The Chairperson, former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Mekere Morauta, says he commends efforts made by Solomon Islands to address recommendations made by observers in 2010 namely ensuring more participation of women as candidates in elections and revising the voters registration list.
He spoke with our reporter in Honiara, Koroi Hawkins, about their activities since arriving into the capital on Tuesday last week.
SIR MEKERE MORAUTA: We've had this series of very informative meetings with the stakeholders - the Solomon Islands police commissioner, chief electoral officer, diplomat, high commissioners, political parties. So really learning to equip ourselves, bring up to date what is going on so that we are in a position to observe the elections equipped with that knowledge.
KOROI HAWKINS: As the country goes to the polls next week, what are the expectations that the observer group is looking for, what is it that you'll be observing?
SMM: We really have no expectations. Our job is just observing. Observing the conduct of the general election in reference to the laws of the country. You know, to see that there is a fair and free election, that voters are not impeded in any way. But those are the laws of the country and we want to observe the election, so that those are being adhered to.
KH: And what message do you have for the people of Solomon Islands as they prepare to go to the polls?
SMM: Voting for leaders is their constitutional right, their birth right. And voting is every four years. And here is a time you exercise that constitutional right of yours. To elect leaders because it's their policies that influence the country and its future in which you live, and your children. So the central message is exercise your right to vote.
KH: I understand you'll be, this is your final set of briefings today, you'll be deploying tomorrow, where are people going?
SMM: The members of the team are assigned to seven provinces, including Honiara. We're going to east, west and central islands. I am very keen and very interested to observe the conduct of the elections and hopefully that we can make a contribution to future elections through our observation.
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