Mrs. Teasi Sanga, in a brief ceremony yesterday was sworn in as Chairperson of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission by His Excellency, the Governor General Sir David Vunagi at Government House.

Mrs. Sanga was first appointed to the Commission in 2016 and has held the position of Deputy Chairperson for a number of years. Her appointment as the Chairperson gives her the distinction of becoming the first female to become the Chairperson of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission.

His Excellency the Governor General Sir David Vunagi and Chairlady of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission Mrs. Teasi Sanga

In the past, the position of Chairman of the Electoral Commission was always held by the Speaker of Parliament because the Constitution at the time prescribed the Speaker to be the Chairman.

This changed when the Constitution was amended in 2018 to permit other qualified and eminent persons to be the Chairperson.

Although the former Chairperson, Patteson Oti, was also the Speaker of Parliament, he was appointed to the position of Chairperson not because of his position as Speaker, but by virtue of being a former member of Parliament and the fact that he had held a distinguished career in government.

Mrs. Teasi Sanga therefore also has the distinction of being the first person to be appointed to the position of Chairperson and not at the same time hold the position of Speaker of Parliament.

In her congratulatory message to the Chairperson, the Supervising Chief Electoral Officer Mrs. Christina Mitini, on behalf of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission congratulated Mrs. Sanga on her new appointment and indicated that the Commission looked forward to working closely with the Chairperson.

Mrs. Sanga was part of the electoral reform process in 2017 and 2018 as a member of the Commission. She is once again involved in the current electoral reform process and is therefore conversant with the proposed reform and related issues, Ms. Mitini said.

“Also, Mrs. Sanga has been a Commissioner through one previous general election and is well aware of what generally needs to be done in the conduct of electoral events”

“It is a well-deserved appointment and the Electoral Office will continue to work closely with the Chairperson and the Commission in implementing its policies”, Ms. Mitini adds.

Prior to being an Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Teasi held the position of Clerk to the National Parliament for many years.

Left-Right: Electoral Commissioner Jefferey Sade Deve, His Excellency the Governor General Sir David Vunagi, and Chairlady of Electoral Commission Mrs. Taeasi Sanga

Ms. Mitini also said that Mrs. Sanga’s appointment to the position of Chairperson is not only in recognition of her long service and experience as an electoral Commissioner but also a projection of the Commission’s support and commitment to promoting more women in important leadership roles within the Commission.

Mrs. Teasi was humbled but grateful for the recognition and confidence entrusted to her with the leadership role as a Chairperson.

“I am humbled to take on this great call for duty for this nation, a responsibility I do not take lightly”, she said.

“It is indeed a privilege to have been appointed Chairperson of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and taking this leadership role in such a crucial time when the nation looks up to the Commission to deliver the upcoming synchronized elections is a huge responsibility”, Mrs. Sanga said.

Mrs. Sanga said that the Electoral Commission plays an integral part in strengthening democracy in the Solomon Islands through the delivery of free and fair elections and I look forward to carrying out my responsibilities and the mandate of the Commission under God’s grace and guidance.

The appointment of Mrs. Teasi is crucial and timely for the Electoral Commission as it embarks on the current nationwide voter registration exercise and prepares for general elections next year.

The position of the Chairperson became vacant when the former Chairperson, Hon Patteson Oti, resigned earlier this year.



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