International Observers: Solomon Islanders demonstrates true meaning of elections

International Observers: Solomon Islanders demonstrates true meaning of elections

By Simon Tavake

Solomon Islanders have demonstrated the spirit of elections in this year’s Joint Election, according to observations made by an International Election Observer Group known as The Group of 7 Plus (G7+).

In an interview with SIBC News today, Simon Sinai, Chief Electoral Commissioner of Papua New Guinea and a member of the G7+, commended the calm and peaceful conduct of the electoral process. 

He praised the good spirit demonstrated by Solomon Islanders throughout the election period.

“We have noted that despite being Solomon Islands’ first experience with the Joint Election, there is a high level of awareness and understanding among Solomon Islanders which result in active participation during the voting process.”

“There were no political conflicts or interference observed during the election,” Mr Sinai Said.

Group photo of the International Observers and officials from the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission

From observations conducted in Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal, Sinai expressed confidence that similar things were also demonstrated across the Nine Province.

“We are happy that the true meaning of elections was displayed by Solomon Islanders,” He said.

 The PNG’s Chief Electoral Commissioner continues to highlight the country’s advancement in electoral practices compared to his country, particularly in the use of the Photo Voter Roll system.

He admits that with the use of the voter identification card places Solomon Islands ahead of Papua New Guinea in electoral efficiency.

“We do not have this kind of system yet in PNG. It’s easy when voters turn up and look their names against their photos and proceed to vote, this reduces the risk of ‘Voter Impersonation’ and other electoral related crimes. This incident does happen in PNG,” the Papua New Guinea’s Electoral Chief said.

The 7-man Team arrived in the country on Sunday this week and will be here during the course of the election period. 

The G7+ is among the 10 international observer groups who are currently in the country to ensure transparency and fairness in the electoral process.

Established in 2010, the G7+ is an international voluntary organization bringing together nations that are either facing active conflict or have recent experience of conflict and fragility.

Other International Observer groups include PIF, USAID, Embassy of the United States, MSG, Embassy of Japan, Australian High Commission, New Zealand High Commission Honiara, British High Commission and EU.



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