Peaceful and calm on Solomons election day
Solomons Islanders are voting today to elect a new 50 member parliament.
Voting in Solomon Islands has been underway since seven this morning as the country prepares to select a new Parliament.
More than 287,000 voters are registered for the one-day poll to elect a new 50-member parliament.
Koroi Hawkins says it was a quiet start.
KOROI HAWKINS: Things are picking up. I just spoke with the Electoral Office and they are saying that the only issues they are having is with people turning up with the wrong sort of polling station so they are being redirected to the correct polling stations and also there are incidents of double registration, where people have registered earlier and have registered again. So, they are basically just getting the first incidence of registration struck off the list and the most recent kept. So it is just a matter of redirecting people to the right places to go. So there is some of that going on but apart from that little bit of confusion, everything seems to be going well and the polling stations seem to be working efficiently.
DON WISEMAN: It is now quiet or quiet-ish on the streets. There is no campainging today during the election?
KH: Oh, it is totally silent. You can hear a pin drop compared to yesterday. Everywhere, all around you, you can hear shouting and honking and people carrying on. And today it is just totally quiet.
DW: Just take us through the process in terms of counting and results.
KH: As you know, it is First Past the Post so once polling closes they will physically transport the ballot boxes to the provincial centres. That could bring some issues some of the polling stations are in some really remote places. So once everything is there they will start counting and they usually do a marathon count and it is expected to take about three days according to the Chief Electoral Officer, Polycarp Haununu. He says official results should be ready in about three days but a media centre has been sent up at the Electoral Office. So I am hopefully going to be there and any preliminary results I understand we are allowed to report on as unofficial results.
DW: And so those preliminary results will start coming through at what point?
KH: Basically as soon as the counting gets underway and as each individual We should be getting preliminary
DW: Now one of the characteristics of Solomon Islands politics is this grouping of MPs as they try to form coalitions as they lock themselves away sometimes for days at end. Is that likely this time given these changes around the registration of political parties?
KH: I think that still will happen as it is sort of just the way things have been going on but something that is new is that the political parties legislation that has come in this year allows for that coalition agreements to be made before the election. So there have already been some talks between various parties and there are already coalition agreements being put together so there is one group with Gordon Darcy Lilo, the outgoing Prime Minister in it and another group of in total about eight parties that are talking to each other, about four on each side. So there are already coalitions forming but it will all come down to the numbers after polling today in terms of who has how many MPs in place. And of course there are the independents and they will still be something to consider. as they cannot form government as independents, they need to join up to parties. There may be some trading of MPs or trying to pull independents into different folds. So locking up into different camps may still happen this year.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: