By ANDREW FANASIA
VOTERS in Western and Choiseul province will go to the polls today to elect their new provincial assembly members.
The polls open at 7am and close at 5pm.
Western Province Returning Officer (RO) Hopeful Piosasa told the Solomon Star from Gizo yesterday that all the respective polling stations are set and ready for today.
“All our polling assistants and presiding officers have been deployed to their respective wards and polling station,” Mr Piosasa said.
“I am optimistic that the provincial election today will be peaceful for Western Province despite minor issues we encountered during the course of our preparation,” he added.
“My concern right now is the weather, the past few days we experienced heavy rain, strong wind and high swells.”
A total of 140 candidates are contesting the 26 wards in Western Province.
The returning officer said he hopes the weather should be fine tomorrow to allow easy travelling for them to collect the ballot boxes after the election.
Meanwhile, in Choiseul Province, Returning Officer Nelson Tanitokere said the people in the province are looking forward for today.
Eighty seven candidates are contesting the 16 wards in Choiseul.
“We have a minor situation a day ago between the supporters but it died down because the leaders here have done their work to settle the issue,” Mr Tanitokere said.
“I have spoken with the Choiseul provincial police commander about the security during the polling day and he had deployed his officers to the respective polling stations around the province,” he told the Solomon Star from Taro.
Mr Tanitokere added that just yesterday he received the late ballot papers from the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening in Honiara.
“We are lucky that they arrived in time before the election today,” Mr Tanitokere said.
He also cited the weather issue but added the weather today should be fine for the people to cast their votes in their respective wards and polling stations around the province.
Mr Tanitokere confirmed that all the counting for Choiseul will be done at the provincial headquarters at Taro.
For Western Province, counting stations have been established at Segehe, Noro and Gizo.
Counting will be conducted on Thursday.
Both returning officers said results should be available on Thursday afternoon.
Alcohol ban will remain effective for both provinces until the 15th June 2018.
Western, Choiseul set to elect new members