THE Political Parties Commission (PPC) has confirmed that until the High Court decision is made on whether an unregistered party can contest, nominate or support the campaign of candidates in the upcoming general election, its position on the matter remains.
The Commission’s stand was that it is prohibited for any contestant of the upcoming general election to contest under a political party that is not a registered party.
The Chairman of the Political Parties Commission, Sir Paul Tovua strongly conveyed this position amidst increasing reports that a few political party groups have engaged in campaigning as a party, without being registered under the Act.
In its statement on the matter, the Commission has emphasised the provisions of the Political Parties Integrity Act by saying that unless a political party is registered under the Act, it cannot campaign as if it is a registered party.
Under Section 28(2) of the National Parliament Electoral Provisions Act (as amended by the Political Parties Integrity Act), where a candidate purports to be a candidate of a party that is not a registered political party, he or she may be disqualified by the Returning Officer of that constituency.
The Commission is urging all unregistered political parties to desist from such practices.
The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) has further confirmed that 12 political parties have registered and will be contesting this national general election.
1. Democratic Alliance Party
2. Direct Development Party
3. Kadere Party
4. National Transformation Party
5. People First Party
6. People’s Alliance Party
7. People’s Progressive Party
8. Solomon Islands Pan-Melanesia Congress Party
9. Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement
10. United Democratic Party
11. Youth Owned Rural Urban Party
12. New Nation Party
The Registrar of Political Parties, Calvin Ziru, also reiterated the position of the Commission in stating that “a ‘political party’ means a political party registered under the Act and as such, even a group of like-minded persons not registered cannot, for the purposes of the Act, be deemed a political party.”
Mr Ziru said they acknowledged that whilst it is true that some entities may have existed as a political party group prior to the Political Parties Integrity Act coming into force, following the passage of the Act and the introduction of a new framework for the registration of political parties, the distinction must be made between a political party registered under the Political Parties Integrity Act, and a political group in general.
The commission urged voters and candidates to monitor and report any personation made by a group purporting to be a political party group not registered under the Act.