THE Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) has confirmed they have approved a budget of $4.5 million for the by-election in 2020.
This was confirmed to this paper by Electoral Commissioner and Chief Electoral Officer Mose Saitala on Wednesday.
“Yes, we have a budget for by-election 2020 approved by the National Parliament,” Saitala added.
When asked about how much it will cost to hold a by-election, Saitala told this paper that the average cost of conducting a by-election is around $1.5 million for one constituency.
“We are now making plans and preparation to conduct the two by-elections in the next few months,” he added.
This paper understands that the North East Guadalcanal Constituency and Central Honiara are currently without any member of Parliament.
Both former MPs Jamie Vokia and Moffat Fugui lost their parliamentary seat in an election petition last week.
It is understood that the High Court is yet to decide on the 18 election petition cases which will force the Electoral Commission to seek additional funds if more MPs are to lose their seats.
By ANDREW FANASIA