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TSI calls for release of funds for election officials
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29 August 2018
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Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) claimed it has been made aware by reliable sources that funds needed by the appointed Electoral Officials and substantive Electoral Officials to carry out their duties and responsibilities is slow in reaching them or has not been released.

In a statement on Tuesday TSI said this is a big concern as the registration of voters starts next week.

TSI said the national general election carried out every four years is the single most important event for the people of Solomon Islands.

“It is the time and year they make decision about who should lead Solomon Islands with their entrusted power, for the next four years.

“It is therefore of great concern that funds to support registration officers, to train their constituency registration officers, assistant clerks and other officials has not reached them and some a yet to carry out that training,” the statement said.

TSI said it is concerned because activities such as training and awareness for constituencies are yet to be done and the voter registration is 7 days away.

“Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) is fighting against time and it is important that the Ministry of Finance and Treasury prioritizes payments for the commission to enable them roll out the registration, training and voter awareness programs throughout the country,” the statement said.

TSI said election is one of the organs of democracy where people have a say on the kind of government that will safeguard all their interests.

“Therefore the elected leaders have a responsibility of ensuring that the country is run in the most efficient way which brings about prosperity,” the statement added.

The statement said awareness about the importance of the national general election and the electoral processes is very important for the people to understand so that they can comply with the law during registration and polling day but also report offences that they witness.

“But they cannot do that without awareness or knowledge of what is what,” the statement added.

Transparency Solomon Islands urges the Minister of Finance to prioritize SIEC payments to allow them implement planned programs as people really need to know how to register, especially the new voters.

“They need to be educated on election processes, registration before the polling day.

“Registration is important for citizens to exercise their democratic right to vote. It is also important to note that through SIEC work, that a comprehensive and inclusive voters' list can be compiled for the coming election 2019,” the statement said.

TSI understands election officials are racing against time as some are yet to conduct training for their constituency assistant registration officers and assistant clerks.

“Some provincial registration managers are yet to receive the needed funds but due to Solomon Islands Government cash flow this is slow,” TSI said.

TSI understands Guadalcanal and Honiara received their funds and training for the election officials is under way.

“This is good but let us get the others going as well by releasing the needed funds to them,” TSI stated.

TSI urges government should priorities funds for elections to ensure registration, training and awareness is completed on time before the nation go to the pools on April 2019.

 

 

 

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