25 Sep 2008

Vote counting in Solomons by-elections delayed

10:34 am on 25 September 2008

A report from Honiara says counting of votes in the East Honiara by-election was delayed last night when one of the candidates, Dr George Manimu interrupted the counting , alleging that the by-election was corrupt .

After the counting was halted for more than two hours, Acting Police Commissioner, Peter Marshall, on the advice of the Electoral Commission , took charge of ballot boxes overnight, and counting resumed this morning.

When the counting was halted, 21 polling stations had been completed with another 16 ballot boxes yet to be counted.

At that point businessman and logger, Milikada Silas was leading the vote tally with around 1,700 votes followed by Dr Manimu.

Meanwhile, in the Lau/Baelelea by election, police and election officials decided to forgo their earlier decision to stop counting yesterday evening and to continue this morning.

Counting went smoothly last night and by early this morning 19 polling stations had been completed with another 10 remaining.

At that point former Parliamentarian, Walter Folo Talu was leading the vote count followed very closely by two other candidates.