19 Nov 2014

Solomon Islands polling stations open

12:49 pm on 19 November 2014

Polling stations are now open in Solomon Islands for the 2014 general election with more than 287,000 registered voters expected to cast their votes.

More than 400 candidates will contest for 50 seats and a four year term in the National Parliament.

Our reporter in Honiara, Koroi Hawkins filed this report.

After yesterday's massive public display of political affiliation, crunch time has finally come and candidates will soon find out just how well supported they really are.

In his final pre-election statement yesterday, Solomon Islands Chief Electoral Officer, Polycarp Haununu said he is confident the election will run smoothly.

POLYCARP HAUNUNU: All preparations all ballot materials are now in the field and all election officials are ready for the poll.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

On the security front the new Police Commissioner, Frank Prendergast, says he is pleased with public behaviour so far.

He says the force is committed to delivering a fair and safe election day.

FRANK PRENDERGAST: This is an extremely important election for the country, the RSIPF is committed to ensuring that everyone gets to vote freely and fairly. And we are also committed to ensuring that the process occurs peacefully.

Polling closes at 5:00pm after which ballot boxes are to be taken to respective Provincial centres where counting will begin and is expected to take at least three days.

Once results are official the 12 political parties and the ever shifting block of independents will attempt to formalise coalition agreements already being discussed in the capital.

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