Petition grounds wider : Saitala

Chief Electoral Officer Mose Saitala.

The grounds for an election petition are much more wider now than before, says Chief Electoral Officer Mose Saitala.

Mr Saitala revealed at a media conference held at the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission office in Honiara this week.

He said there are much wider grounds for an election petition compared to the past.

“The grounds for petitions now includes campaigning outside the campaign period so that’s another element that is coming in now and you know the penalty for that might be smaller, twenty thousand, two years imprisonment,” he said.

“You only to be convicted for six months then you’re out of the House, you’ll vacate your seat immediately so those grounds plus other offences in the Act, those are all grounds, like undue influence, election bribery.”

Mr Saitala said there were also grounds that the Commission can actually institute itself to prosecute possible candidates.

“There are other grounds that we can actually institute ourself for example if you are required to make a return of your campaign expenditures and we somehow know that you actually receive a lot of money from an expatriate or a company that is owned by an expatriate or a shareholder that is an expatriate,” he said.

” It’s a big fine in that so because the ground for petitions for anything is wider now, I think it makes it more difficult to answer your question”.

 

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