6 Apr 2006

Monitors say Solomons' elections appear to have been open and transparent

8:37 pm on 6 April 2006

The Commonwealth Observer Group in Solomon Islands says the general elections were conducted in an open and transparent manner.

Its chairperson, Sir Arnold Amet, says this is an interim statement only and a full report will be released later this month.

Sir Arnold says before and during the elections, a number of issues were raised by voters, for example, with regard to the electoral register and voter turnout.

But, he did not want to make any further comment on the issues until counting had ended and all the observers had compiled their reports.

Instead, Sir Arnold says the group wants to congratulate people in Solomon Islands for a peaceful election.

"We were impressed with the open and transparent manner in which the elections were conducted, particularly in view of the fact that this was their first occasion on which the new single ballot box system was used. And so we would like to at the outset, therefore, commend the Solomon Islands electoral officials and congratulate them for their commitment and hard work during the conduct of the elections."

Sir Arnold Amet, chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer group.