Solomon Islands go to the polls tomorrow
Solomon Islands go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new 50 member parliament.
Solomon Islands goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a new 50-member parliament.
Over 400 candidates have been campaigning amid a large police presence and a number of international observers.
But Koroi Hawkins told Don Wiseman from Honiara that the lead-up has been incident free.
KOROI HAWKINS: I've just come from speaking with the police commissioner, Frank Prendergast. He's very happy with the way things have been going, his reports from today is everything is going peacefully. You can probably hear in the background there's been road trains, that's the way I'll describe them, vehicle after vehicle with various banners and logos of candidates and parties on them. So that's been going up and down, there's a lot of police on the main roads keeping an eye on that.
DON WISEMAN: Always a very happy atmosphere in the campaigning period?
KH: Yes it's an absolutely jubilant atmosphere, people are really getting behind it. There's a lot of youth that have taken the campaigning to heart so there's a lot of campaigning and cheering going along the roads at the moment and in the suburbs.
DW: In terms of the organisation for it, we had this court case the other day when unregistered political parties were told that they couldn't contest the election. There's also been a matter involving the ballot papers in some areas.
KH: Yes, in about six constituencies there has been misprinted party symbols on the ballot papers so they just got that over the weekend and there was scrambling over the weekend to get that fixed. The chief electoral officer Polycarp Haununu said this morning that's all been done, the last papers were flown out I understand yesterday evening and every polling station now has the correct ballot papers. In relation to the parties issue, that was a bit of a sore thing for the unregistered parties so now it's only the 12 registered parties that are contesting the elections and independents also have to join parties before they can form government. But a very interesting thing that has come up is that the parties are actually already talking to each other in meetings about forming coalitions so there's two distinct sort of groups already emerging in terms of government forming. That is very new for Solomon Islands, usually that only happens after the elections.
DW: Do we have any idea at this stage how it is going to shake down?
KH: Solomon Islands is always very horrible to predict so it's not a predictable election at all. People who chant and follow the various campaigns and then in the end when they go to vote it can be an entirely different story. So people will decide how it goes but there's no silent period, there's no blackout in campaigning so the candidates are throwing in their money's worth today and overnight to make sure they pull in as many supporters as they can. It's really fluid here even the Parties Commission which registers political parties noted that even now they are seeing some people are registered in two different parties, so there's still that element of unpredictability about Solomon Islands political scene despite efforts to try and make it more predictable and stable.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: