A total 137 candidates will contest the Makira Ulawa Provincial Assembly Elections on December 11.
Faith Pwea of the Electoral Office in Kira Kira, the provincial capital of Makira Ulawa Province says two women candidates are included in the number of contestants.
They are Jessica Ngere of Ward Nine, Bauro West, and Everlyn Kahia of Ward 12, Wainoni West.
She says Ward Five, Arosi South, and Ward 16, Santa Catalina, have the highest number of contestants, 10 each, while the wards with the lowest number of candidates are Ward Three, West Ulawa, Three, Ward 19, Weather-coast, Three, and Ward 20, Haununu, Three.
And Ms Pwea says the youngest candidate is 21-year-old Kiplee Wateoha of Bauro Central, adding two candidates from Wards Eight and 16 have been disqualified because of registration issues.
She says a number of former Members of the Makira Ulawa Provincial Assembly had decided not to seek re-elections while others are contesting the East Makira bye-election.
Meanwhile, the outgoing Premier, Stanley Siapu is defending his provincial seat of Santa Anna (Ward 15) and two ex-Premiers contesting the provincial elections are Thomas Weape (Wainoni East) and Peter Baewai (Arosi North).
Pwea says the candidates had paid a total of 68-thousand-500 dollars of nomination fees.
She adds all election officers are now in their various election stations throughout the Province, carrying out awareness to the voters, community leaders and villagers.