Returning Officer for the Honiara City Council elections Alphonsus Pero. Photo credit: SIBC.

Returning Officer for the Honiara City Council elections Alphonsus Pero. Photo credit: SIBC.

Counting for the Honiara City Council Elections has been halted this morning due to fund shortages faced by the Council.

Returning Officer for the Council Elections Alphonsus Pero says they should have started counting this morning but decided to halt the process because the Council did not pay its Presiding and Assistant Polling Officers and other expenses.

“However, this does not eventuate because of issues concerning payment of the Presiding and Polling Assistants, the venues, service providers such as transport owners that we engage them, so all these issues have become a concern because actually we were unable to get funding in time yesterday so that we could pay them off.”

Mr. Pero says he has received information from their treasurer that the funds are now available, so counting should begin this afternoon and through the night.

“If the environment is conducive for us to continue counting through tonight, then I can advise my Assistant Returning Officers to continue with counting until late to catch up with the counting process because I think we should complete the counting by tomorrow Friday.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Pero adds the Honiara City Council Elections was held successfully yesterday.

He told local journalists in a media conference today the elections were conducted smoothly without any hiccups.

However, Assistant Returning Officer for Mataniko ward Vincent Hohata says the voter turnout was low.

He says it was low particularly for areas which have a high registered voter list.

Mr. Kohata says this could be attributed to people going home for the Christmas holidays or decided not to vote.

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