SIEC maintains ‘no by-election’ stand

Chief Electoral Officer Mose Saitala.

The body mandated to conduct national general elections, the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission maintains, there will be no by-election for Temotu Vatud Constituency.

SIEC was responding to the President of the Peoples Progressive Party, Charles Dausabea’s call for a by-election for Temotu-Vatud Constituency after MP Freda Tuki was unseated by former MP Clay Forau in an election petition last week.

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission’s decision is four-pronged.

SIEC’s Communication and Public Awareness officer, Philothea Paul said, according to the election calendar, there is insufficient time to take all the necessary steps towards a by-election before the dissolution of Parliament ahead of the 2019 National General Election.

”There’s just not sufficient time. We worked on the 56 days election timeline and it’s not sufficient. Even if the Governor general declares an election date as from now, the polling day would happen just before the dissolution of Parliament and the elected member might not even be sworn in and then parliament dissolves.

”So considering those factors they just made the decision that there won’t be any by-election for this vacant seat. We will wait for the National General Elections.”

She added, the Commission also considers additional financial pressures of having a by-election which will be short-lived.

Ms Philothea added, the Voters list being compiled needs time as the 2014 list is outdated.

By: Leni Dalavera

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