ONLY WEDNESDAY 19TH 2014 IS PUBLIC HOLIDAY: S.I.E.C

Chief Electoral Officer Polycarp Haununu. Photo credit: SIBC.

Chief Electoral Officer Polycarp Haununu. Photo credit: SIBC.

Election Day, November 19, has been officially declared a public holiday by the Caretaker Minister for Home Affairs.

However, the public holiday will not cover the several days that some people may need in order to vote in their home Province.

In a statement from the Electoral Commission, the Chief Electoral Officer is asking all employers to be lenient on employees who requested to go home to vote.

Polycarp Haununu says many people who work in Honiara have registered to vote in their home Province, which is their right under Solomon Islands law and it closely reflects the feeling of connectedness that many of us have with our home villages.

The Commission says the issue of whether or not employees can take time off to go home and vote is an issue between the employee and their employer.

Meanwhile, Mr Haununu says employees who wish to go to the poll to vote must seek permission from their employers to be released from their duties, adding that ultimately, it is up to the employers and their employees to work these out.

He however adds, the Commission would kindly ask all employers to consider the importance of voting and the fact that national elections only take place once every four years, and be lenient with their employees.

However, he says under current laws, ‘Out of Constituency’ voting is not possible and this means those who have registered to vote in their home Provinces must return home to vote.

Thousands of people have registered at the SIEC’s Out of Constituency Voter Registration Center during the Voter Registration Period earlier this year.

The Electoral Commission said it hopes to raise ‘Out of Constituency’ voting as a potential area for legislative reform next year.

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