Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo credit: OPMC.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo credit: OPMC.

The Prime Minister says the new electoral bill must reach Cabinet and Parliament by mid-2016.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made the remarks in Honiara yesterday when he opened a seminar titled ‘The Search For A New Election System in Solomon Islands’ at the Forum Fisheries Agency Conference Centre.

Prime Minister Sogavare said Fiji, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand have changed their voting system recently.

He said it would be interesting to hear about the lessons each country learned as they worked their way through the changes.

He urged stakeholders involved in preparing the proposed electoral bill to ensure it is presented to Cabinet and Parliament for consideration no later than mid-2016.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister says the Government desires to introduce an election system that encourages active participation by people in the governance of their own affairs before 2018.

At the seminar, the Prime Minister said Solomon Islanders are of the view that the first past the post election system has outlived its purpose.

He said this is based on people’s views expressed during a nationwide consultation in 2011 and 2012.

Mr Sogavare said in embracing the recommendation of this consultation, the design of a more efficient and effective election system is one of the Government’s top priorities under its fundamental reform programme.

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