SOME 400, 000 voters are expected to cast their votes when Solomon Islands goes to the national general election early next year.
And 17th April 2024, is the date on the government’s election timeline, according to insiders.
But the government’s planning appears to have run into a few snags, largely because there is no money to pay for pre-election activities in preparation for the main event.
Voter registration, for example were to have started this month, but this has now been delayed by five months. The month-long nationwide process is now expected to be held in June.
An additional month or two will be required to correct and validate the final list, which would take some time to compile and print.
“The Government has budgeted some $200 million in the budget for the cost of the election, but the bottom line is it does not have the money to kick off voter registration this month.
Of this amount some $90 million would be spent on training, voter registration as well as compilation of the final voter list, insiders said.
The next item on the government’s election timeline is the dissolution of Parliament. This will take place on 31st December this year.
It would be followed by a two-month election campaign, expected to start in early February 2024.
The national election they said is now scheduled for 17 April next year, unless there is no donor funding support.
In early April 2019, a total of 359,522 Solomon Islanders registered to vote in the elections, an increase of 72,000 compared to the 2014 elections.
By Alfred Sasako