TRIP CANCELLATION DENIED OVER 200 VOTERS THEIR VOTING RIGHTS

The Nila Habour in Shortland Islands. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Nila Habour in Shortland Islands. Photo credit: SIBC.

As many as 200 registered voters from Shortland Islands were unable to cast their ballot papers today, after a ship scheduled to travel to the islands this week was cancelled.

Shortland Islander Ronnie Kidoe told SIBC News today, the ship, Solfish 002 was scheduled to travel to all of Shortland’s three islands on Monday.

Mr Kidoe said the trip was however cancelled, leaving as many as 200 Shortland Islands voters stranded in Honiara.

He also said the trip was cancelled after the ship’s captain and crew received a threatening phone call.

“Around the early hours of Monday morning I tried to check with the vessel but it was already loaded with men, women and children, looking forward to reach their destination in time to cast their vote this 19th election day. However, my queries about the cancellation of the trip told me they received a phone call whereby the called cursed and threaten the vessel crew and captain that if the vessel travels down to the Western Province or to Shortland Islands, they will set it on fire on arrival.”

Meanwhile, the Shortland Islander also called on the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission to seriously consider out-of-constituency voting to cater for people whose home villages are at the very remote areas of the country.

“I think this is the only company that’s been serving the Shortlands group of islands and it is sad that this has happened to us. This is a trading boat and being one of the remotest part of the country, the Electoral Office must realise that too many calls have been made in terms of voting in Honiara, especially for those who reside remotely in the country, ensuring that a legislation be passed in Parliament to ensure voting in Honiara for the remotest parts of the country.”

Meanwhile, more than a hundred registered voters from Ngella Constituency were also unable to cast their vote today following a
lack of transport and today’s high sea swells.

SIBC News understands these are Ngella people who reside in Honiara

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