Solomons to scrap electoral system
The Solomon Islands government says it will scrap the country's first past the post electoral system in favour of a more representative system before the next general election in 2018.
The Solomon Islands government says it will scrap the country's first past the post electoral system in favour of a more representative system.
Experts from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and Australian and New Zealand Universities are in Honiara this week for a three day seminar which is examining different electoral systems and discussing their compatibility to Solomon Islands.
The Governments Chief Technical Adviser, Mose Saitala says the aim is to have a new system in place before the next general election in 2018.
MOSE SAITALA: This is one of the top priorities of the government and that is to reform the electoral act. And it coincides also with the overwhelming wish of the people of Solomon Islands to change the electoral system from that of first past the post to a more majoritarian kind.
KOROI HAWKINS: And what models are being looked at? Are you looking at country models or different types around the world?
MS: Um, yes we have some of the foremost authorities in elections here with us. From IDEA International Institute of Democratic Elections and also from Victoria University and also from Perth. And they are actually looking into all electoral systems that are employed around the world and evaluating their pros and cons and also looking to the ..... of Solomon Islands and try and see what would be the most suitable.
KH: And something else that has been going on for a while now in Solomon Islands is talk of changing to a federal system. Would this new elections system have to be compatible with the probability of that kind of a change in the future?
MS: Yes I have seen the elections of course will have to still be by way of enacting a new electoral act it will be then at least when the federal constitutions come into play it will still be a system of elections that will be embraced by the new constitutions when it come to. It will not have any effect.
KH: There is also the issue of the election of the Prime Minister which also, which usually raises a lot of unrest and instability around that period. Is that something that you are looking at?
MS: No. there has been discussions of that last year but the questions of popular elections of Prime Minister doesn't arise at this stage. But certainly in during the electoral reforms there will be also review in relation directly to the Prime Minister at the general elections. So that will be part and parcels of all the electoral processes that we are going through.
KH: Finally the next elections are in 2018 is this planned to be ready before then?
MS: Absolutely we are actually targeting to have a new electoral act by mid 2016 so that we may be lucky to trial it during by elections if any but it should be absolutely ready for the 2018 general elections.
Mr Saitala says special considerations are also being given to the possibility of a more inclusive process for Prime Ministerial Elections which have been a source of unrest and instability in the past.
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