The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission has confirmed preparations for this month’s elections is progressing well, with printing outlets already engaged in printing ballot papers.
The Commission’s Public Relations and Communication officer, Philothea Ruaeho confirmed in a media conference today printing companies are now engaged in printing the ballot papers.
She told local reporters their civic education groups are also out in the field doing face-to-face awareness programs in constituencies across the country, adding that Polling Assistants and Presiding Officers have also been recruited.
“We also have our civic education groups out in the field who are doing face-to-face awareness in constituencies and also we have completed the recruitment of Polling Assistants and Presiding Officers to work during the polling day, and will be trained just two to three days before the polling day and their training will be in their respective provincial headquarters and the Returning Officers will conduct the training.”
She adds, they have a total of 902 polling stations across the country and are hoping to publish the list next week.
Meanwhile, according to the Commission’s Logistics Officer, Freddie Bosoboe, the first boat with election kits will leave for the Eastern Solomon Islands this Sunday, followed by other boats to the rest of the provinces.
“The first boat leaves on Sunday, the following day the next boat will leave until the next Sunday, so practically by then we should be able to roll out our delivery and cover every province.”
In terms of confirmed numbers the Commission confirmed the candidates list published in the papers this week are final, after revising their initial lists.
The Commission’s Public Relations and Communication Officer, Philothea Ruaeho told local reporters at a media conference in Honiara yesterday afternoon, a total of 447 candidates have been received by the Commission.
She says of the total, 421 are male candidates while 26 are female candidates contesting the elections this month.
“And according to the list we’ve published there are 447 candidates contesting the coming elections and out of this total, we have 421 are male candidates and 26 are women, so that’s the gender composition we have for the candidate list.”
From the nominations they received Mrs Philothea says 245 candidates are running as Independent candidates, while 202 candidates are running as part of a political party.
“And we also have 245 candidates are running as Independents and 202 are running as part of political parties, that’s according to the list we have received.”
SIBC News understands, most candidates are currently embarking on their individual campaigns in their respecting constituencies.