Opposition takes on Robson Djokovic
• PM’s Chief of Staff is an Australian citizen
• He registered to vote in this year’s election
• Electoral office asked to investigate whether he voted or not
By IAN M. KAUKUI
THE Electoral Commission has been asked to investigate why Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s Chief of Staff Robson Djokovic, an Australian citizen, registered to vote in the 2019 general elections.
Office of the Leader of Opposition Mathew Wale made the request in a Complaint he lodged with the Electoral Commission office, Wednesday this week.
Opposition also asked the Electoral Commission to investigate and establish whether Djokovic has voted in the April 3 elections this year.
Djokovic’s father is Australian while his mother is from Choiseul Province. He is the nephew of Prime Minister Sogavare.
He owns and travels using an Australian passport, therefore an Australian citizen.
Documents the Solomon Star cited revealed Djokovic, 46, has been issued two-year exemption visas since 2013 to work and live here.
His current exemption visa was issued in April this year, and will expire in May 2021.
In its Letter of Complaint to the Electoral Commission, the Opposition said sometime before or during the 2019 Registration period, Djokovic was registered as voter from Ruruvai village, Katupika Ward, Choiseul Province.
“His Voter Registration number is 0682-0963-01564,” the letter said.
But the Opposition leader said it is not known whether he voted or not – therefore requesting the electoral office to find out.
The letter pointed out that under the Electoral Act 2018, only Solomon Islands citizens are allowed to register and vote in elections here.
It said documentary evidence, which was supplied to the Electoral Commission, points to the fact that Djokovic was not only a foreigner, but also registered to vote in the 2019 elections.
“We further submit that, by presenting himself as a Solomon Islander and getting registered, he had also made a false representation to the election officials potentially in breach of other laws as well.
“Such circumstances in our view warrant a proper investigation being carried out to determine the issues raised,” the Letter of Complaint said.
It added arguments Djokovic’s legal counsel, Wilson Rano, raised suggests Djokovic may be eligible to register and vote under the Dual Citizenship Act 2018.
But the Letter of Complaint said:
“Our information has it that this law may still not have been brought into operation.
“If this is the case, then it cannot provide cover for Djokovic.”
Djokovic has yet to respond to questions sent to him via the Press Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office.