No mobile phones allowed

SIEC CEO, Mose Saitala.

Smart phones and other mobile phones will not be permitted into polling stations across the country on 3rd April.

The Solomon Islands Electoral Office sounded this warning ahead of the National General Elections next month.

In a statement , SIEO said votes must remain secret and it was important that voters leave their mobile phones outside before entering the polling stations.

It said voters with mobile phones must respect other voters and not to take pictures of other people in or outside the polling station.

The statement said only accredited media personnel were allowed to take pictures inside a polling station in a specified time-duration authorised by the Presiding Officers.

SIEO had already instructed its Returning Officers and Presiding Officers to give orders and direction to all voters entering a polling station, to leave their mobile phones outside and not to take them inside the polling station when they enter to obtain and cast their ballot papers.

Meanwhile, the statement adds failure to comply with the direction of an election official is an offence under Section 117 of the Electoral Act, that carries a maximum penalty of 20-thousand dollars or two years imprisonment or both.

SIEO said the barring of cell phones also applies to those who are officially permitted to enter counting venues.

It said those who were accredited to observe and involve in counting will be given strict orders and thorough search, not to have cell phones on them during counting.

The Electoral office urged voters, candidates and agents to comply with electoral laws to ensure the democratic process of election is executed in a free and peaceful environment.

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