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ONLY 166 objections and 18 omissions were received from West Honiara constituency during the Omission and Objection period, chief electoral officer Polycarp Haununu says.
He was responding to a news article in the Solomon Star last Friday, in which a group of West Honiara residents claimed sitting MP Namson Tran brought in more than 500 people from outside to register in the constituency.
“The Omission and Objection period is the legal process in the Electoral Provision Act that clearly state the procedures on how to deal with any formal complaints regarding voter registration fraud in terms of removing or inserting names onto the voters list,” he said.
“And the Electoral Commission can only deal with such case if that is reported to it formally,” he added.
“There are only 166 Objections and 18 Omissions that were received after the close of Omission and Objection period on the 11th of August for West Honiara Constituency.
“This 166 excludes the list of names in the multiple registration list objected to by the Commission that appeared in Form E1 on the provisional voters list.
“These are the only formal complaints that we received through the legal and right procedures of dealing with such cases and the Revising and Assistant Officer will soon conduct hearing into these claims and further make decisions on each case.”
Mr Haununu further explained that if non residency complaints such as that alleged 500 West Honiara constituency registrants are formally submitted to the Revising and Assistant Officers through the right procedure required by the law with all proof presented during the public inquiry, a decision whether to insert or delete names from the list will be made by Revising and Assistant Revising Officers.
“The Revising and Assistant Revising Officer decision will be final and can only be challenged in High Court.
“However the number of objection received does not reflect that 500 nonresidents as alleged in the paper.
“Whatever complaints that have not been submitted through this legal procedure will not be considered by Revising Officer and will not affect the final compiled voters list,” Mr Haununu said.
He said this 184 Omission and Objection cases will be the only ones that will be considered by the Revising Officer including the list of objection made by the Electoral Commission.
“The Revising and Assistants Officers’ decisions on these complaints will be the final and will be forwarded to SIEC to amend the voters list accordingly,” the chief electoral officer said.
He said the Electoral Commission does not have the right to make any amendment to the voters list unless it is advised by Revising or Assistant Revising Officer on the decision from the public hearing.
“The period for accepting Omissions and Objections has closed.
“This period was extended well beyond the minimum period required by law to make sure that everyone had a chance to check the Provisional Voters List and lodge omissions and objections if necessary.
“The SIEC can confirm that 166 Objections were received for West Honiara constituency.
“These objections, like all objections lodged during the Omissions and Objections period, will be considered by revising Officers during the Public Inquiry period.
“If anyone has evidence of attempts at electoral fraud they should bring these cases to the attention of Police,” Mr Haununu said.