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Pre-polling in Solomon Islands held successfully, Solomons police call for firearms surrender ahead of election
8:18 pm GMT+12, 24/03/2019, Solomon Islands

A first ever pre-polling was successfully carried out last Thursday in Honiara and throughout all provincial capitals.
 
Election Manager for Honiara Jude Devesi told Solomon Start, that the pre-polling was good except few issues encountered that he will have to take it up to the electoral boss.
 
“All is good except for a few issues related to some officers whose names did not appear on the lists and that they are unlikely to cast their votes,” he said.
 
He said those officers have been going around all day searching for their names but could not find them.
 
“So we have been informed by the Electoral bosses to have their names written down so that an investigation can be done to find out why their names were not included,” he said.
 
He said in Honiara, the pre-polling occurred in Rove, Central and Kukum police stations and it only involves Electoral Officials and Police Officers who will be engaged in the election next month.
 
He added those officers have to apply before they are included in the pre-polling lists.
 
Meanwhile, a good number of officers who have turned up have not seen their names and are denied to cast their votes.
 
The Electoral Office has been planning and preparing to roll out the first pre-poll voting ahead of the National General Election 2019.
 
It is stated in the Electoral Act 2018 Section 94 that an elector is eligible to vote in pre-poll voting if the elector is an electoral official who will be engaged in the conduct of the election on polling day, or a police officer who will be engaged in the conduct of the election on polling day or belongs to a class of electors prescribed by regulation to be so eligible.
 
SIEO has decided to roll out the first ever pre-poll voting under the Electoral Act 2018, commencing with Electoral Officials and Police officers.... PACNEWS

Meanwhile, the police commissioner in Solomon Islands has made a renewed call for the surrender of illegal firearms in the community.
 
Matthew Varley made the call less than two weeks out from the National General Election on 3 April.
 
In spite of a nationwide gun ban introduced in 2003, after a bloody ethnic conflict, crime involving firearms still occurs from time to time.
 
In a statement Varley called on anyone with suspicions or information about people still in possession of firearms to come forward and report them to police.
 
The commissioner said his message to groups or individuals who might want to cause trouble during the election, is to think again. He said police will be out in numbers with an enhanced capability to respond to any disturbance.
 
More than 1,600 officers including 250 officers of the Correctional Services will be deployed throughout the provinces for the election.
 
A Combined Task Group of about 300 officers of the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces will also be supporting the local police and the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission with logistics and communications during the the election.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS


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