The election date instrument was signed by His Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir David Vunagi at the Government House and published in the gazette on Tuesday.
Chief Electoral Officer Jane Waetara in a statement on Tuesday said that, signing of the By-Election date legal instrument and its publication in the gazette initiates the 56 days election timeline til to Election Day.
Nomination of candidates will start from 23rd September till 7th of October 2020. Candidates wishing to contest these by-elections are to see Returning and Assistant Returning Officers who will be stationed in respective nomination centres in the constituencies to receive nominations.
North East Guadalcanal parliamentary seat has recently vacated by Jamie Vokia and the Central Honiara parliamentary seat vacated by John Moffat Fugui.
Both seats were left vacant as results of election petitions which were upheld by the high court following the 2019 National General Election
The election campaign period now begins from the 22nd September to midnight on the 16th November, 2020, for these two by elections.
“Mrs Waetara wants to remind voters, candidates and their supporters that, campaigning outside the legal campaign period is an election offense with a hefty penalty,” Mrs Waetara said.
She added, “these by elections are results of finding candidates not complying with election rules and so intending candidates for these by elections must be aware of the election rules and offences, to conduct themselves and their supporters in accordance to the Electoral Act”.
Section 124 of the Electoral Act 2018 provides a maximum penalty of $20,000, or 2 years imprisonment or both for a candidate convicted of campaigning outside the campaign period.
Voters from these constituencies will go to the poll on the same day which is on the 18th November, 2020.
There is no voter registration update for these by elections; therefore, all voters registered for the 2019 NGE will remain as approved by the Electoral Commission.
Solomon Islands Electoral Commission would like to call on voters from North East Guadalcanal and Central Honiara constituencies and the interested public to check all available media outlets for more updates regarding by-elections for these constituencies.