12 May 2017

Guadalcanal premier favours new Solomons voting system

6:27 pm on 12 May 2017

The premier of Guadalcanal Province has endorsed proposed changes to the Solomon Islands voting system.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

Solomon Islands has a first past the post system but is looking at introducing a form of limited preferential voting.

Solomon Fresh-Beat Online reports that Anthony Veke expressed his support at the opening of consultations on the electoral systems and laws.

Mr Veke said statistics from past elections showed that under the first past the post system MPs were sometimes elected having only gained the votes of a small proportion of their electorate.

Vote counting underway in Solomon Islands

Polling agents counting ballot papers in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara during the 2014 elections. Photo: RNZI

Citing evidence presented in a 2017 White Paper on a proposed election system for Solomon Islands Mr Veke said in the last three consecutive parliaments less than 20 percent of the 52 MPs elected managed to secure a majority of the votes in their electorate.

He said in an extreme case in 1984 one candidate was elected having only secured 10.75 percent of the total valid votes for his constituency.

Mr Veke said it was time for Solomon Islands to change its voting system and update its electoral laws.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

He also called for more work to be done on reforming provincial governance structures in preparation for the proposed introduction of a federal system of government for Solomon Islands.

The provincial consultations concluded today.

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